Men’s Soccer Falls to Olivet 1-0 in MIAA Tournament Semifinals
Friday, November 04, 2011
By Sports Information Student Assistant Mark DeHaan
Playing Olivet for the second time in less than a week, the Knights looked to rebound against the Comets after a 1-0 loss last Saturday. The Knights captured the regular season title at Alma on Wednesday, claiming the first seed, while Olivet is the fourth seed in the inaugural men’s soccer MIAA Tournament this weekend.
The visiting Comets (14-6-1) were able to come out quickly, and just as they had last Saturday, get on the board early. An Olivet pass in the 11th minute found sophomore Fred Smyser open on the right side of the box. A perfectly placed shot was then slipped inside the far post by Smyser, giving the Comets the 1-0 advantage.
The Knights (15-5-1) were able to pressure in the first half, notching six shots, but only two on Olivet freshmen keeper Alex Lang. The Comets would head into halftime with the one goal lead. With Olivet in a defensive mindset, the Knights came out of the break attacking the Comets back line. In the 54th minute, sophomore Zach Willis was able to find some space on the left side of the field. A pass by junior Trevor Bushhouse found Willis, whose ensuing shot was deflected wide by an Olivet defender.
With just under nineteen minutes to go, the Knights had another fine chance as Willis would put a cross into the middle just over the fingertips of the Olivet keeper. Junior Chris Nance would put his head on the ball, but the ball would sail just wide, keeping the Olivet advantage at one. Calvin continued to trail, and in the last five minutes put a number of strong chances on net.
With 3:56 remaining, junior Joe Broekhuizen put a free kick into the middle and found an open Zach Willis. Willis would head the ball just wide, however, and the Knights remained down a goal. With under a minute remaining, Broekhuizen was given another free kick. This too was sent into the box where freshmen Travis Vegter was able to head the ball into the goal. What seemed to be the tying goal was waved off, however, as a foul was called on the Knights.
The Comets would then run the clock out, advancing to the MIAA Tournament Finals while ending the Knights regular season. Without the automatic bid that comes from winning the MIAA, the Knights, with a record of 15-5-1 on the season, will now await the decision of the NCAA Tournament Committee to receive an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament. Calvin was recently ranked 16th in the NSCAA Division III Top 25 poll.