GREENSBORO, NC. – The Calvin men's soccer team defeated the University of Chicago 4-1 in the NCAA DIII National Semifinal on Friday afternoon.
The Knights advance to the national championship final for the fourth time in program history and will play at 2:30 p.m. Saturdday afternoon against either Tufts or the University of Rochester.
Calvin and Chicago met earlier in the season as the Maroons defeated the Knights 1-0.
Both teams came out battling in the first half of competition as neither team was able to get on the board.
Calvin had multiple scoring attempts early and it was in the 27th minute that the Knights were able to put one in the net as junior Ian Adams (Grand Rapids, Mich. / Grand Rapids Christian) found senior Bobby McCaw (Dubuque, Iowa / Hempstead) just outside the 6-yard box and he fired one passed the keeper to take the 1-0 lead. This was McCaw's 21st goal on the season.
Two minutes later Calvin struck again with Adams entering the goal column as he took a shot from inside the 18 from the left wing. The shot appeared to be a cross, but it hit the cross bar and went in for his sixth goal of the season to put Calvin up 2-0.
It didn't take long as Chicago struck back less than a minute later as Matthew Koh brought the ball into the box and took a shot that went off the shoulder of Dayo Adesoun at the goal line and in the net past Calvin keeper sophomore Chris Morrish (Bradenton, Fla. / Saints Stephen's Episcopal School).
Calvin responded, placing one more ball in the net in the 43rd minute of the first half as freshman Mason Smith (Flint, Mich./Flint Powers Catholic HS) passed a ball to junior Hunter Olson (Canton, Mich. / Canton) who blasted it past the keeper from inside the 18-yard-box to close out the half with the 3-1 lead. This was Olson's 14th goal on the season.
Chicago came out strong the second half eager to make a comeback. Both teams exchanged shots, but it was Calvin which struck again in the 65thminute on a double assist from Adams and freshman Sam Twigg (Auckland, NZ.). The passing combination found junior Dillion Weldy (Grand Rapids, Mich. / Grand Rapids Christian) from the top of the 6-yard-box and he fired one past the keeper to record his ninth goal on the season.
Calvin outshot Chicago 15-7. Morrish had three saves in goal.
Calvin head coach Ryan Souders stated, "Great win by our guys. I thought our guys were just fantastic today. Really committed, pressed really well, connected passes, were able to put a couple away. A huge credit to our guys because that is a very talented Chicago. team. To get a positive result against a side like Chicago is awesome."
With his pair of assists Friday, Adams bumped his season total to 18, marking a new Calvin single-season record. The assist total surpasses the previous Calvin record of 17 held by Joey Barone (1991), Nick Capisciolto (2005) and Taylor Pruis (2013).