GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The No. 2 Calvin men's soccer team defeated Adrian College 3-0 on Tuesday evening in a battle for the top seat in the conference standings. The Knights move into sole possession of first place in the MIAA, holding a 7-0-0 overall record with a 3-0-0 conference mark. The Bulldogs drop to 3-3-0 overall and 2-1-0 in the conference.
After a scoreless first half, the Knights came out strong after the halftime break to score three unanswered goals.
"It was a good win against a quality opponent. I thought we scored three really good goals and goals change games," said head men's soccer coach Ryan Souders.
The Knights fired five shots in the first 17 minutes of play but were unable to capitalize on their scoring chances. The rest of the first half was evenly matched as Adrian's defense allowed the Knights only one shot on goal.
At halftime, Calvin held a 10-5 shots advantage while both teams had yet to score.
The Knights took over after the break, coming out strong to take the lead less than a minute into the second half. Calvin's leading scorer Bobby McCaw (Dubuque, Iowa/Hempstead) capitalized on a beautiful through ball from Jacob Witte (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian), scoring what would be the game-winning goal.
Calvin continued to pour on the offensive pressure following McCaw's goal, recording four shots and earning three corner kicks before senior Francisco Jay Noyola (East Lansing, Mich./Lansing Christian) sent a shot into the top corner of the net. Freshman Shaeffer Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Christian) and senior Mitch Stark (South Lyon, Mich./South Lyon) assisted Noyola's second goal of the season, which came in the 65th minute.
Just under six minutes later, junior Daniel Norton (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton North) gained possession of the ball after a scrum in Adrian's box and rocketed a shot to the far corner from 20 yards out, sealing the victory for the Knights. The goal was the first of Norton's collegiate career.
The Knights' defense fended of the Bulldogs for the remainder of the contest, helping senior goalkeeper Nate VanRyn (Grandville, Mich./Calvin Christian) earn his fifth clean sheet of the season. VanRyn made three saves in the victory.
Sophomore Dillon Weldy (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian) led the Knights with four shots. Final shots were 22-13 in favor of Calvin.
The Knights are back in action on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Alma College to take on the Scots (0-5-2 overall, 0-2-1 MIAA).
"We have a difficult road game ahead of us on Saturday at Alma," said Souders. "We're happy with tonight's win, but now our focus turns to our next opponent."