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Senior Sweeperback Helps Lead Calvin Men’s Soccer Team In Win Over Hope

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

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(written by sports information student assistant Mark DeHaan)

A senior sweeper for the Knights, Justin Ahearne has been key to the Knights strong start in the MIAA this season.  A product of Hudsonville High School, Ahearne is in his third year as a starter, but his first as sweeper. “He has a lot of responsibility as our sweeper, but he is a player that can handle the pressure,” said Head Coach Chris Hughes.

When asked about playing in a Calvin-Hope game, Ahearne said “it’s nothing you can imagine. The nerves before hand, the intensity, the excitement and the atmosphere – it’s crazy.” The Knights defense played extremely well against the Dutchmen on Wednesday as it stopped Hope on a number of key opportunities, sealing the shutout and aiding Calvin to a 2-0 win. “We played well and withstood the pressure,” said Ahearne. “We were able to cover Hope’s waves. (goalkeeper Michael) Dolan really stepped up.”

The Knights, now 2-0 in conference, are hoping to continue their success in the MIAA as they look for their fifth straight conference title. According to Ahearne, however, the goals of the team are more than just winning. “We have to keep growing. We have a lot of young guys contributing, and we just want to keep fighting every game.”

A double major in business and psychology, with a focus on marketing and social psychology, Ahearne has a few options after graduating. He is considering either going to graduate school to get his masters in psychology, which would most likely translate into a position as a school counselor, or working at a small business in marketing.

“He has been through a lot. Early in his career he dealt with injury, but when he became healthy, we put him at outside backer. We then moved him inside, and now he is our sweeper. If he keeps the game simple, great things happen,” said Hughes. “He is willing to do anything for the team, and I am very happy with what he is doing.”

Posted in: Men's Soccer
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