Season Comes to an End for Women’s Soccer Team With 2-0 Loss to Kalamazoo
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
By Sports Information Student Assistant Mark DeHaan
In a three-way battle for third and fourth place with Kalamazoo and Hope, a win for the women’s soccer team over the visiting Hornets of Kalamazoo would ensure the Knights a spot in the MIAA Tournament.
The Knights came out quickly, looking to earn an early lead. In the 2nd minute, freshmen Sam Osterhaven made a strong run down the right side of the field and was able to find junior Liz Cancel in the middle for a shot. The shot was blocked however, and would be cleared away.
In the 17th minute, it was Kalamazoo’s turn as Hornets senior Jackie Short was able to intercept a mis-touched pass by the Calvin defense. Short, the second highest scorer in the MIAA with 16 goals coming into Tuesday’s contest, would take the ball to the top of the box and put a shot past freshmen Lauren Merz and into the net to give the Hornets the 1-0 lead.
Minutes later, Cancel looked to answer. With the ball above the box and her back to the net, Cancel made a quick turn to her right and fired off a rocket from her left foot. The ball would fly just wide of the upper 90, however, and the Hornets lead would remain one. Calvin continued to pressure, but would head into halftime down 1-0.
Just as they had in the first half, the Knights came out in the second fast. The Knights earned a corner kick in the first minute of play, and a Cancel kick found the middle of the field. The ball would bounce all the way across the net to sophomore Kelly Koets. Koets would put a pass to fellow sophomore Brittany Hieftje who put a shot on net that bounced off the bottom of the crossbar, and was then shot over.
This would be the Knights best opportunity as in the 64th minute, Short would add to the Hornets lead. A left-footed shot by Short found its way just under the crossbar and over a leaping Merz to give Kalamazoo an insurance goal and Short her 18th goal of the year. Down 2-0, the Knights continued to fight. Shots by junior Francesca Smith and Cancel in the final 15 minutes were all turned away by Hornets junior keeper Courtney McCoy, and Kalamazoo would take the 2-0 victory.
Unfortunately for Calvin, a loss would put it out of the MIAA Tournament, no matter the outcome of Hope’s game versus Saint Mary’s. The loss ends Calvin’s season at 10-6 in conference and 10-10 overall. The game was also the last for Calvin’s lone senior, Kara Zondervan.
“We weren’t as sharp as we were against Hope,” said Head Coach Mark Recker. “This team has been one of learning the trade – learning the trade of playing with the discipline required from game to game. That’s where youth has its challenges and hurdles. With 80% underclassmen, we were pretty successful this year as a group. If you look at the stats, we were right there.”