Men’s Soccer Claims Outright MIAA Title With 4-2 Win at Alma
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
By Sports Information Student Assistant Derek Neice/Photo by Bill Sanderson
ALMA - Playing in their final regular season match of the year the Knights went out with a bang at Alma, defeating the host Scots by a score of 4-2. The win clinches sole possession of the regular season title for Calvin, which finishes the season with a conference winning record of 11-2-1 (15-4-1 overall).
“We definitely had some bumps and bruises throughout the season but I think we’ve been pretty consistent,” said Calvin coach Chris Hughes after the match. “It’s a great way for our seniors to go out with winning an MIAA championship in each of the past four seasons.”
Needing only a tie to win the league outright, the Knights fell behind early on in the 15th minute after Matt Kuberski sent an incredibly long free kick into the Calvin box and past the outstretched hand of Calvin keeper Michael Dolan.
But, the Knights would not be fazed and they showcased their offense as they scored four unanswered goals en route to the win. In the 28th minute, just seconds after subbing into the game on a corner kick, junior Joe Broekhuizen equalized with a header. Later in the half and with a mere 11 seconds to play before the break, junior Nick Holtrop put the Knights ahead on a nice strike after receiving a flicked header pass from Ty Vegter off another corner kick.
In the second half the Knights continued their dominance from the corner kick set piece as senior Justin Ahearne got in on the action with a thunderous header in the 54th minute that gave the Knights a 3-1 lead. Calvin’s fourth goal came soon after in the 61st minute as sophomore Zach Willis finished a goal off a nice pass from junior Chris Nance, who finished the game with a pair of assists.
The Scots would add a late goal off a free kick in the 88th minute, but ultimately it was too little too late.
“There are still things we need to work on moving forward,” Hughes said. “But what an honor to run the sideline with these guys, I’m really proud of them.”
Having already clinched the top seed in the postseason MIAA tournament, the Knights will host their semifinal match-up this Friday against Olivet with Hope hosting Trine in Friday’s other semifinal. The winner of that contest will have a chance to play for the tournament championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA III Tournament.
Friday’s match will play at 3 p.m.