Men’s Soccer Defeats Olivet 3-2 - Creates Tie for First Place in MIAA Standings
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
By Mark DeHaan
Calvin hosted Olivet Wednesday afternoon in a fight for the top of the MIAA. Calvin, 5-0 at Zuidema Field on the season, looked to defend its home turf against the Comets, ranked 6th nationally and 12-0-1 overall on the year. In the last meeting between these two squads, the Comets pulled out a 6-5 victory at Olivet. But, at Zuidema Field, it was Olivet’s undefeated streak that broke as a Calvin handed the Comets their first loss on the year in a hard-fought 3-2 victory.
Calvin pressured Olivet keeper Alex Lang early and often. In the opening minute, junior Zach Willis made a great run up line and found senior Joe Broekhuizen in the middle of the box for header, but Broekhuizen’s header was not on target.
In the ninth minute, it would be sophomore Sean Broekhuizen who found Willis in the box for a header. Taking a free kick from about forty yards out, Broekhuizen’s kick found Willis who was sitting at the edge of the six-yard box. Willis headed the ball into the net past Lang to give Calvin the 1-0 lead.
The Knights lead did not last for long as just over a minute later, the Comets’ Austin Dunn put the ball away during a scrum off a corner kick in the Calvin box to tie the game 1-1.
With under a minute remaining in the opening half, Willis found sophomore Travis Vegter with a cross on the ground and at the near post. Vegter put the ball into the back of the net to send the Knights into halftime with a 2-1 advantage.
In the second half, Olivet found a better rhythm within its midfield and was able to put more pressure on the Calvin net. But, a quick counterattack by the Knights and a great through ball by Joe Broekhuizen saw senior Chris Nance on a breakaway in the 62nd minute. With Lang charging out of his net, Nance put a shot from the top of the box near post to beat the Olivet keeper and give Calvin the 3-1 lead.
But, it was once again a quick response by the Comets. In the 63rd minute, Esteban Russell found Cory Werner-Hoskins in the middle of the box who headed the ball into the Calvin net to cut the Knights’ lead to 3-2.
The final half-hour of the match was extremely tense as both teams looked to hold their respective undefeated streaks alive. In the end, Calvin held the Comets to just four shots over the final ten minutes of the match, earning the 3-2 win and handing Olivet its first loss of the season.
Calvin built a 25-18 shots advantage throughout the game. Lang made three saves for Olivet while Calvin keeper Jared Rushlau made four saves while earning the win.
“We did a good job playing 90 minutes today instead of 45 last time against these guys,” said first-year head coach Ryan Souders. “We said all week it was a boxing match, it was going to go fifteen rounds. We made some adjustments (since our last meeting), held our shape a little bit better, made some better decisions, and overall, it was a good team win from Jared (Rushlau) all the way up to Joe (Broekhuizen).”
Calvin moves to 9-3 overall and 7-1 in the MIAA, tied for first place with Olivet who drops to 7-1 in conference and 12-1-1 overall. The Knights now look forward to Saturday when they will travel to Trine to face the Thunder with first-kick scheduled for 2:30 p.m.