Men’s soccer beats rival Hope, extends winning streak to 10 games
The men’s soccer team, possibly filled with a little extra incentive on President Le Roy’s inauguration day, defeated Hope 2-1 in a scrappy game Saturday afternoon.
Senior Joe Broekhuizen and junior Nick Holtrop each scored a goal to help the Knights to their tenth consecutive victory.
“We just take it one game at a time,” said head coach Ryan Souders. “We just want to keep building confidence and hope it brings us to where we want to be at the end of the year.”
Sophomore Travis Vegter was pleased with the team’s performance and commented on the intensity of the match.
“Sometimes that’s what happens in Calvin-Hope games… whoever’s got more heart is gonna win the game, and we had more heart,” he said.
The second meeting of rivals this year did not disappoint the crowd of more than 1,500 students, parents and alumni.
“Intense, as always,” said Mark Bushhouse, ‘80, father of senior center midfielder Trevor Bushhouse.
Indeed, the game was a tense affair, with Hope coming out strong in the first half. A Calvin giveaway early on found a Hope striker who rang a half volley off the goal post.
This seemed to awaken the Knights offense as they began a more controlled attack.
In the 26th minute, Broekhuizen left a ball for Holtrop, who quickly sent it into the box. Hope’s keeper made the initial stop but Vegter cleaned up the rebound for his seventh goal of the season.
“Holtrop was composed, he sent the ball in, and I was lucky enough to be there,” said Vegter.
The lead was soon relinquished, however, after a controversial Hope goal in the 33rd minute by junior Grant Neil.
Neil took a free kick from half while both Hope and Calvin players fought for possession in the box. Calvin’s senior goalkeeper Jared Rushlau went up and grabbed the ball but was subsequently pushed to the ground, releasing the ball as it trickled across the goal line.
“I had it in my hands and two Hope guys came in and wrecked me,” said Rushlau.
“I don’t know what the ref was looking at,” said Broekhuizen. “That’s a questionable call but we put it behind us,”
Souders agreed. “The call went against us. I think our keeper got hit, but we can’t control that. Our guys responded well,” he said.
The response came in the second half, with the Knights showing new vigor against a scrappy Hope squad. Both teams executed hard tackles, but Hope doubled Calvin’s foul total in the second half, ending the game with 27 total fouls.
Calvin pushed through and retook the lead in the 66th minute. Again it was Holtrop sending in a free kick to Broekhuizen who deftly flicked a header to the far side for his 11th goal of the year.
It was all the Knights would need as they held on for the 2-1 victory.
“We came out and played the way we wanted to play. Our defense stepped up big time,” said Broekhuizen.