Men’s soccer beats Trine and Albion, improves to 2-1 in MIAA
With its game against rival Hope looming, the men’s soccer team first had to focus on a pair of MIAA match-ups against Trine and Albion. The Knights took both contests, defeating Trine 2-1 in overtime and easily disposing of the Britons 7-1 on an overcast Saturday afternoon.
Hosting Trine, Calvin held the majority of possession and outplayed the Thunder from the opening kick. Inside the first minute of play, the Knights had a great opportunity on net as sophomore Travis Vegter created his own shot by dribbling through the Trine defense. Vegter then chipped the ball over the charging Thunder keeper, but a defender came in from the back side to kick the ball off the goal line to prevent the goal.
Although Calvin continued to pressure the Trine defense, it was the Thunder who scored the first goal of the game. Some miscommunication by the Knights’ back line left Trine attacker Andre Hilson wide open on the back post. A cross into the box then left Hilson free for a shot, which he buried into the back of the net in the 38th minute to give the Thunder the 1-0 lead.
Out of the break, Calvin continued to play strong and put shots on net. Senior Joe Broekhuizen had a great head ball attempt on net in the 59th minute that resulted in another team save by the Thunder. The Knights did not give up, however, and with 15 minutes remaining on the clock, finally equalized on a goal from sophomore Sean Broekhuizen.
With all of the momentum in the Knights favor, it did not seem like long before they would add another goal. The remainder of regulation ticked away, but just four minutes into the first overtime period, Calvin added that second goal.
Vegter, who had been pressuring the Trine keeper all game long, finally slipped his tenth shot attempt into the goal to give the Knights the 2-1 overtime victory.
Calvin held a 35-11 shots advantage by the game’s end. Freshman Andrew Claucherty earned the win in net for the Knights.
“I love that our guys stuck with it. We kept making the creative runs we’ve been talking about all season, and it finally paid off,” said head coach Ryan Souders. “It was good to get three points. At the end of the day, the three points are what we are after.”
After a few days of training, the Knights returned to the pitch, again at Zuidema Field on Calvin’s campus, to face the Britons of Albion. Against Albion, Calvin jumped out to an early lead it would not relinquish.
In the seventh minute, junior Ben Honeycutt put the Knights’ first goal on the board with a fantastic volley off a long free kick from Sean Broekhuizen that slipped past the Albion keeper top shelf.
Then, about midway through the first half, senior Nick Holtrop added a goal on a great hustle play as an attempted Briton’s clear deflected off the charging Holtrop and into the net to make the score 2-0 in Calvin’s favor.
Minutes before halftime, freshman Taylor Pruis added another goal off a deflection. Dribbling on the baseline, Pruis attempted to cross the ball into the middle of the box when it was blocked by a Albion defender and then trickled into the net.
Calvin held a 13-2 shots advantage heading into halftime as well as the 3-0 lead.
In the second half, Joe Broekhuizen added two goals within the first five minutes to push the Knights lead to 5-0.
Senior Chris Nance added a sixth Calvin goal off a penalty kick while sophomore Adrien Mary tapped in a cross from junior Zach Willis in the 70th minute to give the Knights a 7-0 lead.
Albion scored its only goal of the match with just over ten minutes remaining on a strong, low shot to the near post from the top of the box by sophomore Mike Tolkacz.
Calvin earned the 7-1 win on a 23-8 shots advantage. Claucherty and senior Jared Rushlau each played a half in net for the Knights, making two saves apiece.
“This is a good game for us,” said Souders. “Our guys came out and did what we talked about in training all week, and to get the result convincingly is good for us heading into Wednesday’s big game at Hope.”
The pair of wins moves Calvin to 4-3 overall and 2-1 in the MIAA. The Knights now look forward to playing Hope on Wednesday at Van Andel Soccer Stadium with the opening kick slated for 7 p.m.