Calvin-U. of Chicago Women’s Soccer Showdown Ends In Draw
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
In a battle of nationally ranked teams, 16th ranked Calvin women’s soccer team notched its first tie of the season against 17th ranked University of Chicago Wednesday at Zuidema Field. Calvin stands at 2-1-1 on the season and University of Chicago moves to 3-1-1.
“Any time you have a team that is competitive on a national scale and they come to play you at home you want to play well and I think we did play well,” said coach Mark Recker. Calvin lost 4-0 against the Maroons a year ago in Chicago.
University of Chicago striker Olivia Ndyabagye netted her first goal of the season in the 8th minute to give the Maroons the early lead. Claire Denz found Ndyabagye after she got two steps on the Calvin defender and fired a shot from the right side.
Goalkeeper Kayla Sulzer kept the Knights in the game with several outstanding plas in the second half. At one point she dove back to her right to snatch a shot fired at an open goal from six yards out to keep Calvin within one goal.
Emily Ottenhoff tied the game in the 76th minute after Elizabeth Ribbens found her head with a beautiful chip to the corner of the six-yard box. The goal came after Calvin failed to capitalize on several golden opportunities in the second half as they controlled play the majority of the half.
“I think as a team we’re frustrated that we had some great opportunities that we didn’t capitalize on,” said Recker.
Calvin finished the game with an 11-5 shots at goal advantage. Nevertheless, Chicago had a handful of dangerous opportunities down the stretch.
Calvin caught a break when the would be game winning shot by Brooke Bontz of the Maroons hit the post and ricocheted untouched across the goalmouth of an empty net, preserving the 1-1 tie through regulation.
Calvin carried its offensive momentum into the first overtime period outshooting Chicago 4-0, but the Maroons stepped up defensively in the second overtime period as neither team allowed a shot.
“Our speed of play is still very good and opposing teams have trouble managing when we throw numbers and we throw speed at them,” said Recker. “Today we learned about playing a disciplined four back defense. Chicago is a very good strong possession team and their strikers are very good at receiving, holding and possessing. We learned from that how to challenge early.”
Calvin didn’t use a single substitution in the first half and only used two players off the bench in the second half.
“We learned several of our midfielders can go a lot of minutes,” said Recker. “Overall the personal that we have put on the field is showing they can compete at a high level.”
Freshman Emma Gormley went the distance in goal for Chicago and recorded three saves while junior Alyssa Bergsma went the first half for Calvin with Sulzer playing the second half and overtime for the Knights.
A photo gallery of the Calvin-Chicago game can be found on-line at: http://www.calvin.edu/gallery/Home-vs-Chicago-9-10-08
In addition, a post-game interview with Recker can be found on-line at: http://www.calvin.edu/sports/audio/MarkRecker091008.mp3
Calvin will host Farmingdale State College Friday at 4 p.m. and Ohio Northern University at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Calvin hosts Wheaton College, the number one team in the nation, next week Wednesday as the Knights continue their five game homestand.