Men’s soccer upsets No. 8 Hope for first win of season
The Calvin men swept the field against rival Hope College Tuesday afternoon at their home field, taking the 5-1 victory and their first win of the season.
“Calvin vs. Hope games are always exciting games to be a part of,” said senior Samuel Hanover. “The hype of the game is always in the back of our heads. We played our type of soccer today and things started to click. We still have a ways to go to be where we want to be, but we took a big step in the right direction.”
In their MIAA season opener, the Flying Dutchmen came to the field ranked No. 8 in the nation with an overall record of 4-1-1. Host team Calvin, also entering their first MIAA game of the year, had a record of 0-3-0.
“It was a very crucial game,” said sophomore Chi Soo Park. “We had tough results from past two tournaments, so getting a big win today against our rivals was a huge moment for us.”
Both teams began with strong defense, keeping the game tied 0-0 long into the first half. 14:42 into it, however, Hope was able to break down the Knights’ defense and score the first goal of the game. Little did they know that it would be their only one.
“The only difference I would’ve asked for tonight is to beat Hope 5-0 next time instead of 5-1,” says junior Adrien Mary.
The Knights were quick to answer back. Just over a minute later, junior Travis Vegter made an unassisted goal to tie up the game.
“Travis’ goal was a highlight tonight because it tied the game and was an absolute rocket,” said Hanover.
That wasn’t it for Calvin in the first half, however. 29:15 into it, senior Zach Willis chipped the goal from 25 yards with an assist from sophomore Taylor Pruis.
“The Hope game is the biggest game of the year,” says Pruis. “Zach Willis’ goal was his first ever against Hope, and also means he has scored against every team in the MIAA in his career.”
Both teams were unable to score the rest of that half. Calvin came back from the half just as strong however, with freshman Stephen Hooker not only scoring the first goal of the half, but also his first collegiate goal with an assist from Pruis.
Pruis not only got two assists for the night, but he also scored Calvin’s last two goals to put them at their 5-1 final with assists from Willis and sophomore Jon Filippini.
For Calvin, however, this game was not only a great start to their MIAA season, but a great way to start the school year and to help fight malaria in Africa.
“The fundraiser before the game is a program called Knight of Nets,” explained Honeycutt. “For each T-shirt purchased, $6 went to buy a bed net for families in Africa to prevent malaria that strikes a majority of that region.”
For the Calvin men, Tuesday’s game was not only about the rivalry, but helping those in need any way they could.
“It is such an honor to be part of something much greater than ourselves,” said Honeycutt.
“Yes, beating Hope is incredible and the experience is unforgettable, but making a difference in people’s lives through this experience is such a blessing,” he said. “The glory was certainly God’s today and He is the one who is making all the difference.”
The idea for this fundraiser came from Cornerstone University, who gave Calvin the option to do it themselves.
“To support this fundraising with soccer is really honoring,” says Park.
The Calvin men return to action Friday, Sept. 20 against Bluffton.