Men’s Soccer Clipped by Olivet 1-0 at Zuidema Field
Saturday, October 29, 2011
By Sports Information Student Assistant Mark DeHaan
Looking to earn the outright MIAA regular season title, Calvin men’s soccer hosted the Comets of Olivet on Saturday. Unfortunately for the Knights, that goal would become more difficult when a red card in just the 19th minute of play put them a man down, as well as a goal down.
The red card resulted in a penalty kick which was put into the back of the net by Olivet’s Fred Smyser to give the Comets a 1-0 lead. Despite being a man down, the Knights played even with the Comets, matching them shot for shot. Just minutes after the Olivet penalty kick, the Knights had a chance of their own as junior Chris Nance made a beautiful cross-field pass to sophomore Zach Willis. Willis then touched the ball back to junior Nick Holtrop who ripped a shot toward net that was blocked and deflected wide.
The Knights would have one more strong chance before half as with 1:11 remaining senior Justin Ahearne made a run down the left side of the field and put a cross across the mouth of the net. The ball would not be touched however, and go past the far post and out of bounds.
Coming out of the break, the Knights continued to look for the equalizer, pressuring the Olivet defense despite the Comets’ one man advantage. Calvin’s best opportunity came with just over 30 minutes remaining in the game as freshmen Dino Duratovic made a run and found himself one-on-one with Olivet keeper Alex Lang. Duratovic would then touch the ball toward the far post, but a sliding Lang would save the shot. This would be Calvin’s best opportunity, and the Knights would have a few more chances with under 10 minutes remaining, but could not capitalize as the Comets would hold on for the win.
Despite being a man down, the Knights had a 18-16 shots advantage over the Comets, with both keepers recording four saves. The game was very physical as 27 fouls were called while five cards were handed out.
“We were a step off, did not have a good match,” said Head Coach Chris Hughes. “We had good effort, but our passes were off today.”
The Knights will have one more opportunity to clinch the MIAA regular season title outright next Wednesday as they travel to Alma with the match starting at 3:00 p.m.