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Calvin Drops Heartbreaker To Wheaton in OT

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

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Calvin-Wheaton Box Score

GRAND RAPIDS—In a game featuring two nationally-ranked teams and a playoff atmosphere, the Wheaton Thunder came up with a dramatic overtime goal to claim a 2-1 victory at Calvin’s Zuidema Field Wednesday afternoon.

Wednesday’s contest featured two nationally-ranked teams as Wheaton entered the game ranked 11th nationally while Calvin was ranked 14th. Wheaton (4-1-0) also entered the game as the two-time defending national champions.

Prior to last weekend, Wheaton had rattled off a 48-game win streak but saw the streak snapped on Saturday with a 1-0 loss at Loras. On Wednesday, Calvin (4-2-1) had the Thunder on the ropes but could not come up with the win with Wheaton snapping Calvin’s 25-game home unbeaten streak in the process.

Playing in front of a vocal crowd, Calvin took an early 1-0 lead on a goal by junior Emily Ottenhoff (Palos Heights, IL/Chicago Christian HS) just 3:37 into the match. Ottenhoff broke free in the Wheaton backfield on the play and ripped a shot from the 25-yard line just inside the far post for her team-leading fifth goal of the year.

Wheaton responded however as Laura Karsten roofed a shot just inside the near post in the 12th minute of play after receiving a through ball pass from teammate Jaime Orewiler.

The game remained tied 1-1 with both teams coming up with strong scoring opportunities throughout the remainder of regulation time. Wheaton senior Kari Klynstra had a glorious chance from point-blank range with just over four minutes left in the first half but Calvin junior goalkeeper Alyssa Bergsma (Walker/Calvin Christian HS) was able to bat the shot away.

In the second half, Ottenhoff sent a header off a corner kick just wide in the 79th minute and Klynstra came up with a header that Calvin junior goalkeeper Kayla Sulzer (St. Charles, MO/Whitfield HS) was able to snatch out of the air.

In the opening minutes of overtime, Calvin senior midfielder Michelle Koele (Denver, CO/Denver Christian HS) broke free for a shot just outside the Wheaton box but Wheaton keeper Ingrid Erickson was able to stuff Koele’s shot and then made a second save on a Koele rebound blast.

Wheaton then cashed in the closing seconds of the first overtime as the Knights were whistled for a foul, giving the Thunder a free kick from the 30 yard line along the right side of the field. Using a quick restart, Wheaton’s Lauren Moser served the free kick to the far post with teammate Ann Turner heading the chip just over the outstretched hands of Sulzer into the top shelf of the goal with only 10 seconds left on the clock.

“This one hurts a little bit because we had our opportunity in regulation and we had our opportunity in overtime,” said Calvin women’s soccer coach Mark Recker. “The game-winning goal was a well-constructed play by Wheaton and they executed the play exactly the way I would have wanted with a quick restart. I think the thing we learned from this game is that you must have mental toughness when you play against an opponent like Wheaton. If you have a scoring chance or a defensive play that needs to be made, you must execute and not lose your concentration.”

Wheaton finished the game with a 13-9 shots at goal advantage. Bergsma came up with two saves for Calvin in one half of play with Sulzer collecting three second half saves for the Knights. Erickson was credited with four saves for the visiting Thunder.

Wednesday’s game marked the 14th meeting between Calvin and Wheaton in women’s soccer with the series now tied 7-7.

Calvin will now break until September 27 when it travels to rival Hope for its conference opener with the kickoff slated for noon at Hope’s Buys Field.

For a post-game audio interview with Mark Recker, please visit the Calvin web site:Mark Recker Post Game Interview

Posted in: Women's Soccer
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