GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The No. 4 Calvin men's soccer team opened its conference season against rival No. 17 Hope College on Wednesday evening at Zuidema field. The Knights downed the Flying Dutchmen, handing Hope its first loss of the season with a 5-0 shutout.
With the victory, Calvin improves to 9-1-0 and 1-0 in MIAA play. Hope falls to 9-1-0 with 0-1 conference mark. Wednesday's match marked the 105thmeeting between the two rivals. Calvin leads the all-time series 59-34-12.
Juniors Dillon Weldy (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian) and Hunter Olson (Canton, Mich./Canton) both saw early scoring chances for the Knights, but Hope goalkeeper Blair McCormick came up with saves on both plays.
The Knights struck first as sophomore Drew Van Andel (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) scored his first collegiate career goal off a corner kick in the 13thminute. Weldy picked up the assist on the set piece goal.
Senior Bobby McCaw (Dubuque, Iowa/Hempstead) widened the Knights' lead to two goals in the 29thminute, making no mistake as he fired a shot from a couple paces outside of the 18-yard box past the keeper into the upper left corner of the net.
Hope came close to getting on the board late in the first half, taking back-to-back shots off a free kick opportunity, but both were blocked by the Knights.
Calvin continued to pour on the offensive pressure in the second half, and, in the 58thminute, senior Jacob Witte (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian) found McCaw for his second goal of the night.
In the 67thminute, junior Ian Adams (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian) added another goal for the Knights. Adams took the corner kick, tapped it in to senior Lucas Albrecht (Plymouth, Mich./Plymouth Christian) who touched it back before Adams curled a shot over a crowd of players and into the far side of the net.
Reid Culberson (Elgin, Ill./Wheaton Academy) netted a fifth and final Calvin goal in the 82ndminute, streaking past his defender and beating the keeper for his first goal of the season.
Calvin posted 27 shots on the evening, including 15 on frame, compared to Hope's 10 shots. The Knights' sophomore goalkeeper Chris Morrish (Bradenton, Fla./Saint Stephan's Episcopal School) posted four saves in the win.
Head coach Ryan Souders touched on tonight's performance. "I thought we created some chances and were able to finish them to get some great goals tonight. You know you look at Bob, he had a great goal, a couple set piece goals, Reid with an absolute fantastic goal to finish. I think we did a great job in and around the box creating chances and transitioned well."
The Knights are back in action on Saturday when they travel to Angola, Indiana to take on Trine (8-1-1, 1-0 MIAA). Game time is set for 2:30 p.m.