Hope Men's Soccer Beats Calvin On PKs, Wins MIAA Tournament
Hope goalkeeper Ethan Beswick denied Calvin's two top goalscorers during a shootout to help hand the Flying Dutchmen the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Tournament Championship.
Hope outscored the Knights 5-4 in penalty kicks Saturday at Calvin to also earn the league's berth to the NCAA Division III Playoffs.
The Flying Dutchmen enjoyed a sweet reversal of their first visit to Grand Rapids where they lost 5-1 after Calvin scored five unanswered goals.
"Coming back, it was more excitement. We got embarrassed here last time," said Beswick, a sophomore from Grand Haven (Grand Haven HS). "To have an opportunity on their home field for a conference championship … that's what we're playing for. We looked at it as a great opportunity rather than 'Oh, we're going back to Calvin.'"
Hope (16-4-2 overall) will learn its postseason assignment on Monday at 1 p.m. Click here for the link for the NCAA pairings show.
Hope coach Steven Smith, admittedly too nervous to watch each penalty kick, was thrilled with his team's resiliency.
"We threw out our at-large bid a long tie ago when we lost to Trine," Smith said. "We knew there was no out for us. Our guys had to play with that desperation. We play to win, or we go home. I'm really proud of the guys."
The NCAA Tournament berth is the 11th for the Flying Dutchmen under Smith's direction and third in fourth years.
The match went to a shootout after both teams scored one goal during 90 minutes of regulation and two 10-minute, sudden-death overtime periods.
In the shootout, senior forward Jason Muller of Petoskey (Petoskey HS) opened the scoring for Hope.
Beswick then stopped Calvin's 26-goal scorer, junior Travis Vegter, on the Knights' first penalty kick by diving to his right.
Senior Matthew VanZytveld of Grand Haven (Grand Haven HS), senior Grant Neil of Holland (West Ottawa HS) and senior Max DeBoef of Plainwell (Plainwell HS) followed by successful conversions to keep the Flying Dutchmen ahead until Calvin's Stephan Hooker tied following Hope's first miss.
Junior Cameron Dice of Allendale (Unity Christian HS) then beat Calvin goalie Andrew Claucherty of Sterling Heights (Madison Heights Bishop Foley HS) to set the stage for Beswick.
Beswick turned away the shot from Calvin's second-leading goalscorer, Taylor Pruis of Grand Rapids (Grand Rapids Christian HS), to send the Flying Dutchmen into jubilation.
"The first one set the tone for it. From there, I was living for it," Beswick said. "You can't focus on your going to take five shots. You have to take one at a time. You get scored on, you've got to forget about it. You've got another one coming at you in just seconds."
Beswick made seven saves during regulation and overtime.
Dice scored in the 58th minute to give Hope a 1-0 lead. Calvin's Sean Broekhuizen evened the score five minutes off a Pruis assist. Pruis matched the single-season school record with his 17thassist.