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Calvin Clips Goshen In Season Opener

Friday, August 29, 2008

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http://Calvin-Goshen Box Score

Sophomore Scott Hooker (Hudsonville/Unity Christian) netted a penalty kick as Calvin snuck past Goshen 1-0 in Friday’s season opener in the Cal Bergsma Memorial Tournament. Calvin will host Aquinas Saturday at 4 p.m. as the Knights begin their six-game non-conference schedule.
The tournament honors Dr. Calvin Bergsma who died tragically in a car accident during the summer of 2001. A 1967 graduate of Calvin, Bergsma was a West Michigan urologist who was known as a kind-hearted man who cared deeply for everyone. He had close family ties to both Hope and Calvin.

“A win is a win at this level,” said seventh-year coach Chris Hughes. “I think we established ourselves after the first few minutes and again you have to shake off some of that rust in the first game.”

Hooker, whose penalty kick came after senior Anthony Gratson (Rochester/Rochester Stoney Creek) was upended trying to turn the corner along the end line, deposited the penalty kick into the upper shelf for his first goal of the season. A year ago Hooker co-led Calvin in goals with nine and was named to the All-MIAA first team.

Calvin outshot the Maple Leafs 14-7, but Goshen controlled most of the possession in the second half. Goal Keeper Darrin Cline (Grandville/Grandville), who begins his second year as starter after being named to the All-MIAA second team a year ago, recorded five saves.
“Our handling speed was a little slow today,” said Hughes. “Legs are tired; they just came off of duel workouts, [it’s the] first game and the grass was thick. There are all these fun excuses you can bring up, but really the handling speed is not there yet and that’s something we addressed and will continue to address and it will become better.”

The Knights return nine of 11 starters, but Hughes still experimented with several different lineups as the defending MIAA champion Knights get set for their conference opener against Albion on September 24 at Zuidema Field.

“We’re going to take [this win] and run,” said Hughes. “A game like today we’ve got options, we’re trying different people in different places and I think it’s a pretty good start.”

Hughes started freshman Miles Colago (Anoka, MN/Anoka) at the center mid-field position that co-goal leader Nick Capisciolto vacated. Starting senior forward Michael Holwerda (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian), who also co-led the Knights in goals a year ago, also played significant minutes at the position.

“That position is pretty important at this level and we’re always looking for different options,” said Hughes. “We tried Miles there, we tried a couple of other guys there and we’re trying to find somebody that will stick. I think we have some options in there, but we’re trying to put that puzzle together right now and we’re getting closer.”

Hughes also juggled different combinations at the forward positions where Holwerda and Hooker led Calvin’s league best offense to 50 goals last year. Each is coming off a nine goal and seven assist season and each was named to the All-MIAA first team.

“Nothing is set in stone,” said Hughes. “We’ve got options and we can move those kids around and I’m just glad Michael and Scott play on our team.”

Senior Dan Van Slyke (Grove City, PA/Grove City) and Gratson started at the outside midfield positions, but junior Alex McKenzie and sophomore Kurt VanSickel also saw significant minutes.

Calvin’s defensive lineup, which allowed a league best nine goals a year ago and helped senior Darrin Cline (Grandville/Grandville) to a 0.60 goals against average, ranked 21st in the nation, does however appear set in stone.

Junior sweeper Greg Snapper (Madison, WI/Madison West) and junior stopper Luke Holtrop (Hudsonville/Unity Christian) and sophomore outside back Kyle Billin (Hudsonville/Unity Christian) played the entire game while sophomore Lucas Wilgenburg (Visalisa, CA/Central Valley Christian) was subbed only briefly.

Calvin hosts Aquinas tomorrow as Goshen heads to Hope. Hope topped Aquinas 5-2 in Holland on Friday. Calvin last won the Cal Bergsma Memorial Tournament in 2006, while Hope won the first two tournaments in 2001 and 2002. Wheaton, whom Calvin will play next weekend, is the defending champion.

An audio interview with Chris Hughes can be found on-line at:

Posted in: Men's Soccer
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