Men’s Soccer Scores 2-1 Victory Over Hope To Remain Atop MIAA Standings
Saturday, October 20, 2012
By Mark DeHaan
On a fall day made for soccer, the more than 1500 fans that showed up for the Calvin-Hope game were in for a hard-fought, tooth and nail fight between two long-time rivals. Calvin, on a second-half goal from senior Joe Broekhuizen, took the win 2-1 over the Flying Dutchmen.
Hope, looking to avenge its 1-0 loss to Calvin at home earlier this year, had the best chances on net early on. The Flying Dutchmen’s first opportunity came in the 9th minute as forward Jonathan DeVries put a shot toward net that deflected off the post and out.
Despite Hope’s early chances, Calvin got onto the board first on a goal from sophomore Travis Vegter. A ball from the Calvin backline found the feet of senior Nick Holtrop. Holtrop, dribbling down to the end line, sent a low cross into the middle where Vegter came streaking in and tapped it into the back of the net to take the 1-0 lead.
Less than ten minutes later, Hope equalized on a deep free kick by Grant Neil from about midfield. As the ball made its way into the box, Calvin senior keeper Jared Rushlau jumped up to grab the ball. In a scrum of players, Rushlau lost control of the ball as it bounced into the net.
In the 45th minute, Hope almost took the lead as a deep shot from forward Jason Muller hit the crossbar and went over the net.
Hope held a 7-6 shots advantage in the first half. Hope was also called for 11 fouls to Calvin’s six.
Out of the break, some strong play from junior Zach Willis and freshman Taylor Pruis gave the Knights a number of opportunities. Calvin could not capitalize, however, and the game became increasingly tense and chippy.
In the 67th minute, senior Joe Broekhuizen put the Knights ahead for good as he headed a ball into the bottom right corner of the net off a Nick Holtrop free kick for a 2-1 Calvin advantage. The Knights back line played strong defense the remainder of the way as the Calvin earned a 2-1 win.
Calvin built a 15-13 shots advantage in the game as well as a 5-2 corner kicks advantage. Hope was called for 27 fouls in the game, while the Knights were called for 14. Rushlau earned the win in net for the Knights, making two saves in ninety minutes of play.
“This is a big win for us. It’s a big win because it’s in front of a big crowd, it’s a big win because it’s against Hope, it’s a big win because it puts us where we want to be in front of conference – it’s a big win on every level,” said head coach Ryan Souders, 2-0 against Hope in his first year at the helm for Calvin. “I thought our guys played really well today. We stayed composed, primarily, despite the hectic atmosphere. I’m really proud of our guys.”
Calvin moves to 10-1 in the MIAA and 11-3 overall while Hope falls to 7-4 in conference and 10-6 overall. The Knights now look forward to Wednesday when they will host the Hornets of Kalamazoo.