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Calvin Clipped by Aquinas On Day Two of Cal Bersgma Memorial Tournament

Saturday, August 30, 2008

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Box Score

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Friday’s season opening win against Goshen suggested the Knights’ new-look offense is in need of some alterations.

Saturday’s 3-2 loss to cross-town rival Aquinas suggested that the defense may be in need of some, too.

After Calvin’s Alex McKenzie pumped in a goal just under four minutes into Saturday’s bout with the Saints, the Knights frittered away an early lead and allowed two second-half goals, resulting in a 3-2 Aquinas victory.

“We need to fix a couple of holes that aren’t yet fixed, and we need to do it before we head to Wheaton next week,” said Calvin coach Chris Hughes.

On the final day of the annual Cal Bergsma Memorial Tournament, the Knights’ 1-0 lead vanished quickly in the first half when Aquinas forward Jeovani Pantoja sent a turn-around laser from 30 yards out past Calvin goalkeeper Darrin Cline.

The Saints’ scoring surge continued into the second half, as Chris Smith and Pantoja netted goals only 53 seconds apart to build a 3-1 lead less than four minutes into the final frame.

“Marking inside your own 30 (yards) is absolutely crucial,” said Hughes. “Two goals in the second half were mistakes from our defense. We need to fix that quickly.”

Calvin freshman Ahmed Gobana connected on a Scott Hooker cross from the left corner, heading the ball past a swarm of Aquinas defenders around the 73:00-minute mark – his first collegiate goal.

Yet with a myriad of opportunities in the final ten minutes – including a deflating shot from Hooker that ricocheted off the crossbar – the Knights were unable to knot the score before time expired.

“I would say that in the second half, we put some better offensive pressure on and created several opportunities for ourselves,” said Hughes, whose team scored only one goal on a Hooker penalty shot the night before against Goshen.

Hope College defeated Goshen 6-0 on Saturday afternoon to claim its third Cal Bergsma championship. The Flying Dutchmen cruised past Aquinas on Friday, 5-2, in their season opener.

Calvin will now look to rebound in non-conference play when the team travels to Illinois to face both Wheaton (IL) and Trinity International next weekend. 

—Story written by Chaz Amidon ‘09

Posted in: Men's Soccer
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