Women’s Soccer Advances to Second Round of NCAA’s With 1-0 Double-Overtime Win Over Aurora
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Story By Mark DeHaan/Photos by Sahil Patel
ST. LOUIS, MO - The Knights traveled to St. Louis for an NCAA Tournament first round contest against a familiar foe on Friday evening. Calvin women’s soccer was matched up against the Spartans of Aurora University for the second year in a row, a Spartan squad whom Calvin defeated 1-0 in overtime last season. In a game eerily similar to a year ago, the Knights once again defeated Aurora 1-0 - this time in double overtime. For the second straight year, the game-winning overtime goal also came off the foot of Calvin’s Paige Capel.
On Friday night, the first half was largely played in the Spartan’s favor.
With just over five minutes remaining in the first half, Aurora had a good chance on net that was tipped just wide by a diving Ashton Hearn.
Calvin had a good opportunity in the 42nd minute. Sophomore Christina Drost settled a ball in the middle of the box, but the ensuing shot was right at the keeper and the game remained scoreless.
Aurora held a 12-3 shots advantage in the opening period. Drost’s shot in the 42nd minute was Calvin’s lone chance on goal.
Out of the break, sophomore Taylor TenHarmsel had a strong header on net off a cross from sophomore Paige Capel in the 51st minute that was saved by the Aurora keeper.
The Knights had another prime opportunity in the 60th minute. Sophomore Sydney Kinney sent a ball toward the far post that was played toward net by senior Kelly Koets, but her shot was saved.
In the 75th minute, Aurora had perhaps the most dangerous attempt on net of the contest up to that point. A free kick was sent into the Calvin box at the far post, where a shot was skied over the crossbar from just a couple feet out.
The remainder of the second half clock ticked off, and just like last season, the game headed into overtime.
At the end of regulation, Aurora’s shot margin had increased to 22-8. Both teams entered the contest undefeated in overtime play, with the Knights coming in at 3-0-2 and Aurora at 3-0-0.
Drost had a strong opportunity in the 93rd minute, trying to beat the keeper near post but the shot was saved. The first overtime passed without a ball finding the back of the net.
The second overtime then provided what was seemingly a moment of deja vu for the Knights. Senior Heidi Scholten sent a ball to Capel past the Aurora defense. Gaining just a half step on her defender and letting the ball settle to her left foot, Capel rocketed a shot from the middle of the box past the Spartan keeper top shelf to end the game on a golden goal, just as she had last year, for a 1-0 Calvin victory.
The Knights were outshot by the Spartans 26-11. Hearn made nine saves in net to earn the well-deserved shutout – the 33rd of her career.
The win is also the 200th in the career of head coach Mark Recker, in his 13th season at the helm of the women’s soccer program. Recker now has a collegiate record of 200-54-20 for a winning percentage of .752.
“For the most part, Ashton and our defense limited the type of looks their offense could get, and that was key for us,” said Recker. “Our defense has been stingy all year and they just continue to be stingy. I wouldn’t have wanted to celebrate my 200th win with any other team. My hats off to the players because they play passionately and they battle every minute.”
Calvin advances to the second round where it will face host Washington University, the top ranked team in the country.
“I think tomorrow will be an endurance game, and the sad thing for us is we had to play into double overtime,” said Recker. “We have a chance to play two number ones in a season. Tomorrow will be a real challenge for us, but this team continues to surprise everyone.”
The Knights and Bears will play Saturday evening at 6 p.m.