Men’s Soccer Takes Out Trine Behind Alex McKenzie Scoring Surge
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Slated with the second game of a soccer double-header, the men again came out strong on what could be called a cold and blustery Saturday afternoon, defeating the Trine Thunder by a score of 2-0.
After a somewhat frustrating win against Kalamazoo this past Wednesday, a game in which the Knights were struggling to finish for goals, Saturday’s contest looked early on to be of the same nature. The Knights out-shot the Thunder 29-4 with a 12-1 shots-on-goal differential. In the first half, no goals were scored.
The win also boosted Calvin into sole possession of first place in the MIAA standings as Hope was defeated by Olivet 1-0 on Saturday, giving Calvin a three-point lead over Hope heading into a Tuesday showdown in Holland.
After the game, Calvin head coach Chris Hughes responded similarly to what he said Wednesday about the Knights’ lack of finishing ability.
“Just like last time, we need to be ahead by a goal, so when we go ahead by two we’re happy with that. The guys played well, they anticipated the game, and our team defense was very strong.”
“Our depth really helped today as it has all year, so it’s definitely a good win for the group and a good win on our homecoming weekend.”
The scoring for the Knights happened entirely in the second half with both goals coming from the foot of senior forward Alex McKenzie (Lindenhurst, IL). Just over five minutes into the second half, Calvin’s offense put together a beautiful string of passes starting with a run by forward Scott Hooker (Hudsonville, MI).
Hooker played the ball in the middle to senior midfielder Michael Holwerda (Grand Rapids, MI) who then placed a pass down the left flank to a wide open Brad Heethuis (Jenison, MI). Heethuis quickly looped in a groundball-cross along the face of the goal and McKenzie promptly smashed it home, giving Calvin the lead.
McKenzie’s second goal came with just seven minutes left in the half, putting the game out of reach for Trine. Junior back Lucas Wilgenberg placed a nice pass into the middle of the box to McKenzie, who turned and knocked a shot into the corner of the net. With the win, Calvin moved to 5-0-1 in the MIAA with a 10-1-1 overall record.
“This is Alex’s best year,” said Hughes of McKenzie, “and I think this position is built for him. He anticipates a game well, he’s big, he’s fast, he’s strong he’s got a great shot, and he’s a threat. This year he’s taking advantage of it. The last couple years we’ve had some injuries with him, and he’s been healthy all year long, so we’re very happy with what he’s doing.”
Hughes continued, “And again, it all comes down to those ten guys behind him helping him get to that level. This is a team effort so I’m proud of the guys behind him as well.”
Looking forward, the biggest game of the season thus far will take place at rival Hope College on Tuesday. Coach Hughes looks to this game no differently than any other.
“We prepare as we will every game, we’re going to enjoy this, and we’ll get to that game in a little while.”