Knights upset Spartans in first round of NCAA but fall to Duhawks
It was a close game for the Calvin Knights women’s soccer team as they faced the 19-1-1 Spartans from Aurora University Friday afternoon, but after a long battle the Knights pulled off another win.
“Our team proved the idea that hard work pays off, and heart has just as much presence on the field as skill,” said head coach Mark Recker.
“Nineteen seconds into the first overtime, our team made four combination passes to get Paige [Capel] to a point where she was one-on-one racing to a ball. The goalie had to come out and Paige made a smart play of toe-poking it and it went underneath and we all watched as it rolled from the top of the 18 and into the back of the net — and the game was over.”
Playing strong defense, both teams were able to keep each other off the board the first 90 minutes of the game, sending it into overtime. The Spartans, however, were unable to keep the Knights out of the net as Capel sent one in after 19 seconds into the first overtime. Junior Ashton Hearn played goalie for the game and kept the Spartans off the board, earning six saves for the night.
After the great upset of Aurora, however, the Knights were unable to keep the streak going and fell to host team Loras College Saturday night in Dubuque, Iowa.
“Loras had a lot of energy, [they] played very direct and very physical,” said Recker. “We kept on battling; we got the second goal and I think we had a couple other chances we just didn’t convert. It has been an unbelievable season, and one that [we] will celebrate in the future; it’s just very tough right now to accept what happened.”
Despite a close attempt by senior Liz Cancel in the seventh minute of play, the Duhawks’ keeper, anticipating the shot, was able to deflect the ball and keep the Knights from scoring first. The Knights were unable to keep the Duhawks from scoring in the 12th minute. A Duhawks forward beat a Knights defender, then was able to slip the ball into the net past charging Calvin goalie Ashton Hearn to give Loras the 1-0 advantage.
The Knights, however, were able to come back and tie the game in the 16th minute when junior Kelly Koets took a shot from 30 yards out.
Just minutes later, however, Loras responded with another goal. The Duhawks were awarded a free kick at the top of Calvin’s box, and a Duhawks’ forward was able to put a shot through to give them the 2-1 advantage.
Minutes into the second half, the Duhawks were able to increase their advantage as one of their forwards scored her second goal of the game.
In the 60th minute, Loras added some cushion to their lead as they put in a fourth goal, taking the game to a 4-1 lead.
Capel cut into the Duhawks’ lead in the 80th minute with her second goal in two games on a pass from fellow freshman Taylor TenHarmsel.
Despite the late scoring, the Knights were unable to add to their two-goal total, and fell to Loras 4-2.
Despite this loss, the women’s soccer team finishes the year 16-5-1. Calvin was the MIAA regular season and tournament champion, even though they were picked to finish fifth in the preseason poll.