Women’s Soccer Edges Olivet 1-0 to Set Up Monday Showdown With Hope
Saturday, November 02, 2013
By Mark DeHaan
Calvin women’s soccer traveled to Olivet on Saturday to face the Comets. The Knights entered the contest at 11-2-1 in the MIAA and 14-2-2 overall while Olivet was 4-10-0 in the league and 7-10-0 overall.
Calvin claimed a hard-fought 1-0 victory, and with the win and a Hope 2-0 win over Kalamazoo, set up a big matchup against Hope at Calvin on Monday. Calvin and Hope are both tied for first place with 37 points apiece. Alma continues to remain one point behind with 36 points. A win by either Calvin or Hope would give either school the outright title. A Calvin-Hope tie and an Alma win however would allow Alma to slip past both schools and claim the outright MIAA title for its own.
In Saturday’s match at Olivet, the Knights owned much of the early possession but struggled to find any openings on net.
Calvin’s first opportunity came in the 32nd minute when Heidi Scholten (Hudsonville/Unity Christian HS) received a through-ball that sent her one-on-one with the Olivet keeper. Charging off her line, the Comets goalie deflected the Scholten shot just enough to send it wide of the frame and keep the game scoreless.
Calvin then got on the board in the 37th minute. Setting up for a corner kick, sophomore Sydney Kinney (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) sent a curling ball in toward the near post that bounced through all the Olivet defenders and found the back of the net for a 1-0 Knights advantage.
Calvin took the 1-0 lead into halftime as well as an 8-0 shots advantage.
Out of the break, the Knights continued to hold a majority of the possession but couldn’t find the final pass to set up another strong opportunity.
In the 80th minute, freshman Kailey Jo (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) sent a cross into the Olivet box that slipped past the Comets keeper but also past the outstretched foot of Scholten in front of the net.
Minutes later, sophomore Paige Capel (Hudsonville/Unity Christian HS) made a run to the top of the box before ripping a left-footed shot that was saved by the Olivet goalie.
Fighting off the Comets for the final five minutes, Calvin closed out the 1-0 win.
The Knights outshot Olivet 17-4 in the match while holding an 8-2 corner kick advantage. Senior goalkeeper Ashton Hearn (Port Huron/Port Huron Northern HS) made two saves in net for Calvin to earn the win and the clean sheet. Hearn now has 29 career shutouts in goal.
The Knights now look forward to Monday when they will host the Flying Dutch of Hope for a game that will determine the top seed in the MIAA Tournament. Both Calvin and Hope are tied atop the MIAA standings with 37 points, with Alma in third at 36.
“We are trying to sustain a certain level of play and teams are elevating their game when we come to town, and I think that is what we’re dealing with this second half of our schedule,” said head coach Mark Recker. “Defensively, we’ll have to be sharp (on Monday against Hope). We have to find a way to hold midfield. If we can, we keep them from having a staging area from where they can service balls to their speed on the flanks.
Calvin improves to 12-2-1 in league play and 15-2-2 overall while Olivet falls to 4-11-0 in the MIAA and 7-11-0 overall.
Monday’s contest against Hope is scheduled to start at 3 p.m.