Men’s Soccer Clipped By Late Hope Goal in 2-1 Loss
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
By Sports Information Student Assistant Derek Neice
For the second time this season the Flying Dutch of Hope stunned Calvin with late game heroics as the Knights fell at home 2-1 Wednesday afternoon in another intense rivalry match. Calvin would score early on in the game and take the lead into the second half, but Hope rallied with two goals to defeat the Knights again for the third straight contest between the two rivals.
Looking back to earlier this season on September 25th in Holland, the Knights were undefeated and ranked #1 in the nation coming in to face the Dutch. With a tie game close to end of regulation, Hope would score a late goal to win 2-1 in that match and end Calvin’s 2010 undefeated streak. Wednesday proved to be eerily similar as Calvin controlled the pace of the game but was unable to convert the opportunities it had.
“We did a real good job a majority of the game, but Hope’s an opportunistic team,” Coach Hughes said. “One thing I do know is that the season is not done and we fight forward.”
Calvin’s Brad Heethuis (Jenison, MI) opened the scoring in the 15th minute on a shot that had Heethuis’ leg parallel with the ground as he struck the ball into the bottom corner of the net, his 5th goal of the year. Tyler Vegter (Hudsonville, MI) sent the ball in from outside the box to assist Heethuis on the goal.
The Knights saw a couple more chances nearly come to fruition in the first half but settled for the lone goal lead going into halftime.
The second half started out well again for the Knights, but Hope took full advantage of any opportunity, starting in the 60th minute when Jeffrey Stusick (Stevensville, MI) found Andrew Nichols (Traverse City, MI) for the equalizer, Nichols 4th goal of the season.
All roads pointed to overtime as the match started to wound down, but in the 83rd minute Hope silenced the crowd completely with a headed goal from John Turner (Kentwood, MI) after Calvin was unable to clear the danger.
“It’s always hard on the seniors for sure, but I definitely think our guys played well and it was a hard-fought game,” Hughes concluded.
“There were battles all over the field and a very physical game,” Hughes said of the physicality. Calvin outshot the Dutch 17-15, and the Knights were whistled for a nearly unreal 18 fouls to Hope’s 10. Over the last four years Calvin is 3-4-3 against Hope, with losses in the past three matches played.
Calvin pressed very well in the final minutes, with the closest chances coming from a pair of Lucas Wilgenburg (Visalia, CA) headers in the final ten minutes that both deflected off the crossbar. Hope would lock things down on defense to close out the game thereafter.
The loss drops the Knights to 10-2-3 season, 4-2-3 in the MIAA. Hope improves to 8-5-2, 5-4 in the MIAA.
“We need three points [wins] from here on out, so we need to move on from here and look to our next game,” Hughes concluded.
Calvin returns to the field this Saturday when it hosts Kalamazoo, which currently sits atop the conference standings.