Women’s soccer storms ahead to MIAA championship victory
As the Knights women’s soccer team ended the regular season 15-4-1 overall, Calvin took the award for the MIAA Tournament Championship. The game on Saturday also counted as an automatic qualifying bid for the NCAA national tournament.
Last Friday, Calvin went head-to-head with Adrian College on the Knights’ home field. The Knights scored 1-0 in the eighth minute. This was due to a goal rocketing in off a crossing pass by freshman Taylor Tenhamsel, assisted by freshman Paige Capel. The game went back and forth until the end, but the rest of the game resulted in no gain for either team. As the women recognized this victory, they headed straight into their next battle.
On Saturday, the Knights entered into the third match of the year with Hope, which ended up turning simply into a winner-take-all battle. The Knights were in it to win it. Calvin senior Elizabeth Cancel points out, “Before the game, our team knew we had to play with our whole heart and want it more than Hope. Sometimes these playoff games aren’t necessarily about skill with regards to who the better team is, these games are about who wants it more and who is going to out work their opponent.”
With 684 fans present at the Knights’ Zuidema Field, this game was bound to bring cheering and enthusiasm as both teams played for the win. Although the weather was cold and overcast, both teams had many supporters. Hope had possession, but was interfered with by a Calvin defender, causing an obvious penalty. Flying Dutch Lindsay Jipping stepped up to accept said penalty, and shot the ball to the back of the net, leaving the new score as 1-0 in the 53rd minute.
In the 86th minute, Calvin equalized the score as junior Kelly Koets, assisted by junior Danielle Carter, made goal nine for the season in a pass of rebound in a scrum. This goal was made five minutes before the end of the period, and both teams headed straight into overtime.
A shot was made right from the start by Flying Dutch offensive player Raisa Yewah, but was saved by Knight keeper junior Ashton Hearn. After a foul on Hope, it seemed like the Knights would not give up on making that final shot. Three corner kicks and two shots were made on goal before the Knights came ahead 2-1. With 10 seconds remaining, Calvin earned a corner kick taken by Cancel. Carter then scored a goal, tapping in off said corner kick, two seconds before the end of the time, pulling Calvin ahead to victory with its “golden goal.” Cancel relives the excitement as she describes the scene:
“I took the corner kick. There was a scramble inside their box and somehow Danielle Carter managed to get her foot on the ball to put it in the goal. I saw the ball roll into the net. My heart and body was so emotionally and physically invested in the game that I couldn’t help myself but to cry tears of joy and celebrate with my teammates.”
Hope dropped to 14-6-2 with the loss, but Calvin will return to play this weekend at Loras College against Aurora College from Ill. Hearn notes that it was, “a come from behind championship win against Hope; it couldn’t have been written any better. We have worked hard all season as a team to accomplish what we accomplished on Saturday, to get into the NCAA tournament.”
Smith, Carter and Ten Harmsel were named All-MIAA First Team after the tournament and freshman defender Sydney Kinney was named All-MIAA Second Team. This is Smith’s third straight year on the list and the first year for Carter, Ten Harmsel and Kinney.