Calvin Men's Soccer Claims 7-1 MIAA Tournament Semifinal Win Over Albion - to Host Alma in Saturday Final

Calvin Men's Soccer Claims 7-1 MIAA Tournament Semifinal Win Over Albion - to Host Alma in Saturday Final

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Calvin men's soccer team claimed a 7-1 victory over Albion in the MIAA Tournament semifinals Thursday afternoon at Calvin's Zuidema Field.

The 16th-ranked Knights (17-2-0) will host Alma (14-5-1) Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. in the MIAA Tournament final at Calvin's Zuidema Field with the winner receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA III Tournament.

Albion (9-10) put Calvin back on its heels with a  scoring just 2:05 into the match as Steven Lockhart slipped a shot inside the far post off a pass from teammate Colin Howard.

The Knights responded just over eight minutes later however as junior Mitch Stark (South Lyon, Mich./South Lyon HS) cranked a shot from the 25 yard line that flew into the top shelf of the net after a pull-back pass from sophomore Bobby McCaw (Dubuque, Ia./Hempstead HS).

The Knights then taked on two more first half goals with freshman Ian Adams (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) scoring in the 31st minute and sophomore Trent Vegter (Hudsonville, Mich./Unity Christian HS) scoring in the 36th minute.

Staked to a 3-1 halftime lead, the Knights remain unsatisfied and put the ball in the back of the net four times in the second half.

Senior Stephan Hooker (Hudsonville, Mich./Unity Christian HS) converted a penalty kick in the 52nd minute. McCaw cranked a shot inside the far post in the 59th minute. Adams tallied his second goal of the game, doing so in the 64th minute on a feed from freshman teammate Dillon Weldy (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS). Weldy completed the scoring in the 68th minute with a blast from the right side of the box off a pass from sophomore Jacob Witte (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS).

Calvin's seven-goal output established a new MIAA Tournament single-game scoring record.
The Knights will be playing in the MIAA Tournament final for the fifth consecutive year.

"It was a good response from a bit of an uneven start," said Calvin men's soccer coach Ryan Souders. "It was disappointing to concede a goal so early in the game. Credit Albion for taking advantage of the scoring opportunity but I felt that goal woke us up. I'd rather not start a game like that. To the credit of our guys they responded well, moved the ball fluidly and had some great finishes."

Calvin will face Alma Saturday in a rematch of last year's MIAA Tournament final which Calvin won 3-0. According to Souders, the Knights will be in for a big test. "Alma is an extremely well-coached team and they will play with great heart and determination," said Souders. "We will have to be ready to play right from the opening whistle. We are excited for the opportunity and happy to be playing at home."