Calvin Men's Soccer Teams Claims Outright MIAA Title With 5-0 Win Over Albion
By Mark DeHaan
Calvin men's soccer completed its regular season with a 5-0 win over Albion on Tuesday afternoon, claiming the outright conference title for the third straight year and at least a share of the MIAA title for the seventh straight season.
The Knights also celebrated their senior class as Eric Hollis, Ben Honeycutt, Zakk Rankin, Mike Sanderson, and Zach Willis were all honored before the game.
After a quiet first half and 1-0 halftime Calvin lead, the Knights scored four goals in the second period of play to propel themselves to a 5-0 win.
The Knights held possession for much of the opening half, outshooting the Britons 7-2.
But, it wasn't until the 40th minute that Calvin got on the board when freshman Stephan Hooker sent a ball into the box over the Albion defense for sophomore Sam Hanover. Sprinting around his defender,
Hanover got his foot to the ball a step ahead of the charging Britons goalkeeper and poked it into the net for a 1-0 Calvin lead, which the Knights took into halftime.
After the break, Calvin scored three goals in just over ten minutes. Junior Sean Broekhuizen gave the Knights a 2-0 advantage in the 52nd minute, receiving a throw-in from junior Travis Vegter in the center of the box and beating the Albion goalkeeper.
Hooker scored a goal of his own in the 58th minute, taking a pass from Vegter and burying it into the back of the net.
Calvin's scoring barrage continued in the 62nd minute when senior Zakk Rankin netted his first goal of the season, collecting a rebound off a Zach Willis cross and putting it into the goal.
Eric Hollis completed the scoring in the 72nd minute, receiving a cross from Rankin in the center of the box and finding the corner of the goal for a 5-0 Calvin lead and a memorable senior day.
The Knights outshot the Britons 15-5 while holding a 3-0 corner kick advantage. Junior goalkeeper Andrew Claucherty made two saves in net to earn the shutout and the win.
"I am so proud of the guys' effort in the second half. We connected passes, made the extra pass, and then finished our chances," said head coach Ryan Souders. "Our seniors, what can you say, all of them had a hand in getting the job done today. Those seniors – four time conference champions – have led us from day one. I'm really proud of them, as well as the whole team, and I'm excited to be where we are at."
Calvin improves to 13-5-0 and 12-2-0 in the MIAA while Albion falls to 8-10-2 and 5-7-2 in league play. The Knights now look forward to Thursday when they will host the Hornets of Kalamazoo in a MIAA Tournament semi-final matchup at Zuidema Field slated to start at noon.
Calvin and Kalamazoo split the regular season series, with the Knights winning 4-3 at Kalamazoo while falling to the Hornets 3-0 at home.