Knights Stretch Win Streak To Four Games With Big Bench Boost
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
KALAMAZOO—The Calvin men’s soccer team stretched its win streak to four games and remained tied for first place in the MIAA standings with a 4-1 victory at Kalamazoo College Tuesday afternoon.
Calvin is now 6-3-0 overall and tied with rival Hope for first place in the MIAA standings with a 3-0-0 league mark. Hope handed Trine University its first conference defeat on Tuesday, winning 3-2 in Holland.
Calvin received three goals from its reserves in Tuesday’s win over the Hornets (4-4-0 overall, 1-2-0 MIAA) as the Knights played 22 players in the contest. Kalamazoo nearly scored in the opening two minutes of play but a shot off a corner kick was cleared off the Calvin goalline by sophomore defender Lucas Wilgenburg (Visalia, CA/Valley Christian HS).
Calvin then began to up the pressure and finally broke through in the 25th minute of play as freshman Miles Colago (Anoka, MN/Anoka HS) got to a loose ball in the box and sent a shot into the upper right hand portion of the net for his first collegiate goal. Five minutes later, sophomore Kurt VanSickel (Pittsburgh, PA/Trinity Christian HS) was able to squirt a pass through the goalmouth right to the feet of sophomore teammate Brad Heethuis (Jenison/Unity Christian HS) who popped a shot into a wide-open net, allowing the Knights to take a 2-0 leading into halftime.
Kalamazoo quickly reversed the momentum however nine minutes into the second half as Joe Jackson fed teammate Joe Boss for a goal that cut the Calvin lead in half.
With 16:52 left in regulation, Calvin was awarded a penalty kick but junior Luke Holtrop’s blast to the corner was saved in spectacular fashion by Kalamazoo goalkeeper Joe Wahlstrom. Walhstrom was also able to deflect a point-blank rebound shot. Just a few moments later, Holtop received another chance to score and made not mistake with the opportunity ripping a shot just inside the near post off a feed from Colago. The goal came with 14:34 left on the clock. Freshman reserve Tyler Vegter (Hudsonville/Unity Christian HS) completed the scoring by heading in a corner kick from junior Michael Holwerda (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) with 8:06 left to play. The goal was the first of Vegter’s collegiate career.
“I think today’s game was a real confidence builder for our team,” said Calvin head coach Chris Hughes. “When you can get three goals from your bench, it’s huge. It gave our starters a real lift and our entire team the understanding that when we bring players off the bench, there’s no letdown.”
Calvin finished the game with a 23-6 shots at goal advantage. Senior goalkeeper Darrin Cline (Grandville/Grandville HS) had two saves for the Knights while Walhstrom had 10 saves for the Hornets.
According to Hughes, the Knights are now starting to gain an understanding of their roles. “In the non-conference season, we played several different combinations and tried a few different systems,” he said. “By doing that, we learned what our strengths and weaknesses are and with so many freshmen and sophomores on this year’s team, we needed the non-conference season to learn a few things about each other. Now we’re starting to really click and it’s a fun feeling for everyone on this team because everyone is contributing.”
Calvin returns to action on Saturday when it travels to Olivet for a 3:30 p.m. contest.