Women’s Soccer Team Rolls to Win At Hope
Saturday, September 27, 2008
HOLLAND – The Calvin women’s soccer team finished with a flourish at rival Hope College Saturday afternoon, recording a 5-0 victory over the Flying Dutch at the Buys Athletic Complex.
Saturday’s game marked the MIAA opener for both teams. Ranked 13th in the most recent Division II Top 25 poll, Calvin has now won five straight games against Hope including its last four in Holland.
During the non-conference portion of the season, Calvin has struggled with finishing around the net. The Knights made no mistake on Saturday however, scoring twice in the first half and three times in the second half.
“Part of the learning curve of our non-conference season has been learning how to deal with the physicality of the game and finishing around the net even while we are being challenged,” said Calvin women’s soccer coach Mark Recker, a former All-MIAA forward for the Calvin men’s soccer team. “When you get into conference play, it isn’t easy to put the ball in the back of the net but you’ve got to find a way. I thought our mental focus today was excellent, particularly when we were challenged around the net.”
Calvin jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a goal by junior Emily Ottenhoff (Palos Heights, IL/Chicago Christian HS) in the 11th minute of play with Ottenhoff heading in a corner kick from senior Ashley Bolen (Urbana, IL/Urbana HS). The Knights then took a 2-0 lead on a goal by senior Elizabeth Ribbens (Tinley Park, IL/Victor J. Andrew High School). The play began with a quick throw-in by senior Juliana Litts (Alexandria, VA/Thomas Jefferson HS) that sprung Ribbens free on a breakaway up the right wing.
In the second half, a crossing pass from Ribbens found the foot of junior Natalie Veurink (Spring Lake/Western Michigan Christian HS) who banged in her first goal of the year. A few minutes later, Veurink set up sophomore Carly Prins (Hudsonville/Unity Christian HS) for a goal with Prins ripping in a shot while falling to the turf. Ribbens then closed out the scoring with an unassisted goal with 8:59 left to play.
“I thought Natalie Veurink gave our team a big spark in the second half,” said Recker. “She has been in the starting lineup but I felt like our team needed a different rhythm earlier this week and Natalie did not get down about the change but instead made the most of her opportunity. She is a special player.”
Recker also had words of praise for junior midfielder Allison Boender (Grandville/Calvin Christian HS). “Allison had a terrific defensive performance in midfield today,” said Recker. “Hope has some dangerous offensive weapons and Allison played a big role in keeping Hope off the scoreboard today.”
Calvin finished the game with a 19-8 shots at goal advantage. Juniors Alyssa Bergsma (Walker/Calvin Christian HS) and Kayla Sulzer (St. Charles, MO/Whitfield HS) combined on the shutout in goal for the Knights Bergsma picking up one save and Sulzer four saves.
Calvin returns to action on Wednesday when it travels to 6-2-1 Adrian for a 4:00 p.m. contest at Adrian’s Performance Stadium.
“Adrian is playing very well for its new coach,” said Recker. “I expect our team to face a stiff challenge on Wednesday. We will have to prepare and be ready to play.”