Women’s Soccer Blanks Alma to Remain Unbeaten in MIAA
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Elizabeth Ribben’s (Tinley Park, IL/Victor J. Andrew) goal and assist just minutes into the second half moved Calvin back into first place in the MIAA standings with a 2-0 win over Alma at Zuidema Field.
“We are not necessarily worried about where we are positioned as we are whether we execute from game to game,” said coach Mark Recker.
Calvin is ranked eighth in the latest division III poll and was second to Alma heading into the game. The Knights also won their 22nd consecutive MIAA game, dating back to October 26, 2005.
“Coach always tells us that we have a target on our back,” said Allison Boender (Grandville/Calvin Christian). “We are ranked and every team in the MIAA is going to come in wanting to beat us. No team is going to come in and fall over.”
The Knights outshot Alma 8-2 in the first half and controlled possession, but failed to get on the scored board.
“I thought we started out slow today in the first half,” said Recker. “Our execution, drive and desire were more evident in the second half. So it really is pleasing even though we might not have our best effort to begin with our team was able to step up.”
Just four minutes into the second half, Ribbens dribbled over sixty yards with Alma defender Kelley Walsh at her heals. At the eighteen yard line, Ribbens fired a shot that deflected off the cross bar and past Alma goal keeper Emma Heppler to put Calvin up 1-0 in the 48th minute.
“(Ribbens) is our senior and she’s one of our strikers,” said Recker. “I challenged them at halftime. Who’s going to stand up and deliver in terms of their ability? To her credit she said it’s going to be me today. And she went out and played very well in the second half.”
It was Ribbens’ sixth goal of the season, putting her second behind Emily Ottenhoff (Palos Heights, IL/Chicago Christian) who has a team high seven goals. Ottenhoff was the table setter for Calvin in the game, controlling the middle of the field. She also had a team high five shots.
“Halftime really opened it up,” said Ribbens. “We kind of all knew that we had to step it up and that we had to make this happen. It felt like we were in a little bit of a lull (in the first half).”
Four minutes later Ribbens put Calvin on the board again, this time finding Carly Prins on a cross from the left side. Prins angled a shot past Heppler for her fourth goal of the season. Calvin outshot Alma 11-0 in the second half, for a 19-2 edge in the game.
“I thought Carly, Natalie Veurink (Spring Lake/Western Michigan Christian) and the whole midfield (played well in the second half),” said Recker. “Once we start to see that level of energy from a couple of players all of the sudden it’s infectious and the rest of the team starts kicking in and doing the same thing.”
Calvin’s defense shut down an Alma offense that scored 33 goals already this season and nine goals in just three conference games. Alma managed two shots in the first half and didn’t get a single shot off in the second half. It was the Knights fifth shut out of the season.
Calvin travels to Saint Mary’s on Saturday for a noon kick off and Olivet next Wednesday. The Knights return home against Kalamazoo on October 18 to start a two game home stand.
Photo Gallery Courtesy of David DeKorne: Calvin/Alma Photo Gallery