Men’s soccer falls to Hope in shootout after double overtime in MIAA tourney final
The Calvin men’s soccer team fell in a nail-biting shootout at their home field in the MIAA tournament final game against rival team Hope College, with a 1-1 tie after double overtime and a 5-4 score in shootouts.
Hope earned an automatic bid to the national tournament, but Calvin will have to wait until Monday to find out whether it earned one of the at-large spots in the tournament.
“Both teams played really well. I can’t say we didn’t do something we should have or that Hope did something we didn’t do to win the game,” said Calvin head coach Ryan Souders. “One team has to be disappointed in this situation no matter what, and it just happened to be us. I really believe it was overall just a great game on both ends.”
Both teams were incredibly evenly matched throughout the entire game. Both were able to hold the other scoreless the entire first half and continued that trend all the way up to 15 minutes into the second half, when Hope was finally able to slide one in past Calvin defenders.
Undeterred, however, the Knights answered back quickly, scoring less than 3 minutes later and tying the score again. Both teams were unable to score again during regulation time and were forced into an intense double overtime situation.
Again, both teams matched each other evenly and were forced into a shootout. After a thrilling 5 minutes of completely even shots, Hope slipped past Calvin and won the tournament.
“It just came down to penalty kicks,” said Souders. “I’m really proud of our guys, though. We played really well and I don’t think we need to change a thing if we do get the bid from the committee.”
Despite this loss, the Knights still have a chance for a bid in the national tournament.
The national committee will meet this weekend, consider the teams’ statistics, compare them to other teams and give their final verdict to the Calvin men by Monday night.
“The decision if we get to be in the nationals is up to the committee now,” said Souders. “We would like to think that our body of work warrants us being national tournament participants. Our team really hopes the committee sees it the same way as we do. We had a good win against Hope early on in the season and a couple other good wins that hopefully will help make the decision. ”
No matter what happens, the team plans to head back out Monday and continue working as hard as they have all season.
“We’ll go back out Monday and practice hard for whoever we get paired with next weekend,” said Souders. “We’re a great team with a lot of talent and a lot of hard-working guys who want this more than anything.”