Men’s Soccer Gets Back on Winning Track With 1-0 Win at Kalamazoo
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
By Sports Information Student Assistant Andrew Knot
KALAMAZOO - After a disappointing loss to Hope last weekend, the Calvin men’s soccer team rebounded with a 1-0 conference victory over Kalamazoo on Tuesday.
The Knights had struggled to maintain possession against the Flying Dutchmen on Saturday, and responded by taking control of the ball on the pitch at Kalamazoo’s MacKenzie Field.
The Knights owned a significant advantage in possession, especially in the first half, where Calvin generated chances early and often. A breakaway opportunity from Scott Hooker and a few corner kick chances had Calvin with clear control of the game, but nothing to show for it on the scoreboard.
“It was important to get a victory at Kalamazoo. Three points are crucial this year, especially with the level of the other teams stepping up,” said Coach Chris Hughes.
The game remained scoreless in the first half, with Calvin outshooting the Hornets 9-0.
In the 64rd minute, senior Kurt Van Sickel scored on a low driven shot from the left side of the eighteen, giving Calvin a 1-0 lead.
The goal came off an assist from junior Miles Colago, who fed Van Sickel an attacking pass from the midfield.
That lead would hold, despite a flurry of activity late in the second half from the Hornets. The Calvin defense held the Hornets to three shots. Goalkeeper Ryan Bratt made one save in another clean sheet effort.
Calvin finished the match with a 17-3 advantage in shots, as well as a severe dominance in possession. The Knights took Kalamazoo out of their game, silencing their offensive attack on their home turf.
Coach Hughes understands that MIAA road victories are hard to come by.
“I think the guys were ready to play. Today was a good victory for the team,” he commented. “A win at MacKenzie Field is always a tough feat.”
The victory ties the Knights atop the MIAA with a 2-1 conference record and an 8-1 overall record. Now ranked 18th in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association Division III Top 25 poll, Calvin is locked in a six-way tie for first place in the MIAA standings as Adrian, Calvin, Hope, Kalamazoo, Olivet and Trine all own 2-1 league marks.
Calvin will host Olivet on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
“It will be another big game on Saturday, “ said Hughes. “We’d love to see as many of our fans out to see us as possible.”