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Men’s Soccer Opens 2010 Campaign With 1-0 Win Over Milwaukee School of Engineering

Friday, September 03, 2010

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Box Score

Fresh off the best season Calvin’s men’s soccer team has ever seen, a deep national tournament run that saw the Knights finish as national runners up, the 2010 season got back underway Friday afternoon at Calvin’s Zuidema Field for the Cal Bergsma Memorial Tournament and the Knights are off to a good start as they defeated the Milwaukee School of Engineering Raiders (MSOE) by a tight score of 1-0.

Calvin came into the game Friday ranked as the #2 team in the nation, a position largely attributed to their having made it to that title game last year.  A number of key losses as well as some great additions for the Knights should make for an interesting and potentially great season for the Knights.

After raising a flag to commemorate last season’s national tournament finish, the game began and the Knights got right back to the dominating style they grew accustomed to last year, controlling the game with fluid and crisp passing, as well as creating an abundance of chances on goal.  The opening minutes saw multiple chances for Calvin, but MSOE managed to maintain a scoreless tie in the first half.

“I think today it was a good chemistry, the kids were excited to come out and play and compete against somebody,” Calvin coach Chris Hughes said after the game.  “The guys were definitely excited to get out there.”

After that hot start to the game, in which Calvin took a large shot advantage over the Raiders, the pace did manage to slow down a bit as some scattered rain began to fall, and the teams went into the half with the score still knotted at zeros apiece.  The half did feature a number of great runs into the box all centered around Calvin attackers Scott Hooker (Hudsonville, MI) and Brad Heethuis (Jenison, MI).

With strong defense throughout the game, led by sophomore Dan Nederhoed (Kentwood, MI) and senior Lucas Wilgenburg (Visalia, CA), and a stout midfield, the Knights did battle onward and continued to create chances.  In the 70th minute their patience was rewarded when freshman Zach Willis (Wyoming, MI) came off the bench and scored his first collegiate goal in electric fashion.

“That’s his job,” Hughes said of the freshman Willis.”  When we were recruiting him we told him exactly what we wanted and you have to play to your strengths.  He did that and the players support him and he took care of business.”

Willis received the ball in the Raider half and exploded with it towards the opposite corner of the box into space, burning his defender.  He then managed to slow up just enough and twist his body to strike the ball with his left foot on the ground just inside the right post for a goal.  With that, Calvin had the lead, and they would prove that the defense was still strong as they maintained the shutout victory.

“Every year someone steps up nicely, and you just have to be consistent and stay disciplined,” Hughes continued.  “It’s still young in the season so we’re going to take it and run with it.”
Saturday at 2 p.m. will feature the second game for Calvin in this Cal Bergsma Memorial Tournament as the Knights take on Goshen College.

Posted in: Men's Soccer
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