Men’s Soccer Opens MIAA Campaign With 2-0 Win Over Alma
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
By Calvin Sports Information Student Assistant Andrew Knot
In it first MIAA game of the year, Calvin recorded a 2-0 victory over Alma Wednesday at Calvin’s Zuidema Field.
With the shutout of the Scots, Calvin exhibited a potent offense, anchored by a poised defense, with a versatile midfield mediating the two.
After controlling possession and scoring opportunities early, the Knights finally capitalized with ten minutes remaining in the first half. Junior Kurt Van Sickel hammered a spectacular shot from 35 yards out on the left wing into the upper-right side netting. Van Sickel’s goal marked the fifth of the year for him. Calvin continued to control possession for the remainder of the half.
Sophomore goalie Jared Rushlau aided that cause, robbing Alma striker Santi Lopez just minutes after Calvin took the lead.
“Our team defense is good. We have a good, mature back line. They are smart and hard-working. The midfield and the strikers are also doing their jobs,” said Coach Chris Hughes. The Knights have posted three straight clean sheets, and have only allowed two goals through seven games this season.
The defense continued that pace throughout the second half. Conceding only six shots and two genuine scoring opportunities, the stifled any Alma hopes for an equalizer.
Then with less than four minutes remaining in the game, 6’6” freshman Joe Broekhuizen utilized his long strides and a terrific through ball from roommate Nick Holtrop to break free on the left flank, getting around the Scots defense and burying a low, driven ball past Alma keeper Jon Nowak.
Calvin finished the game with a 25-6 shots at goal advantage with Rushlau recording two saves in nets for his fourth shutout victory of the year.
Hughes said of the game, “It’s a good way to start the season. Our strong non-conference opponents prepare us for the MIAA. We just have to continue to find a way to pick up three points game in each game.”
Calvin returns to action on Friday when it travels to Adrian for a 7:00 p.m. match at Adrian’s Performance Stadium.