GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – For the first time in the 56-year history of Zuidema Field, a soccer game was played under the lights. The Calvin women's soccer team shined brightly under the lights and defeated Alma, 4-0.
"As we look at this scenic view of the lights shining on the field, it is pretty, it really is pretty," said head coach Mark Recker. "It is even better with seeing your team play as hard as they did. When they are all mobile and contribute as a group, we can be a very tough team. We are getting different people stepping up at different times. Tonight there were some positive things with unselfish play. I am thrilled with our outcome tonight, the experience of the lights for the girls, we did not know what it would look like in the dark and now we do. It is pretty special, especially heading into this weekend, where the men get to play Hope here, which is going to be a fun event."
With the victory, the Knights tie their best start to a season since 2009, with a 6-0-0 record. The Maroon and Gold are the only unbeaten team left in the MIAA and stand at 3-0-0 in the MIAA. Alma falls to 0-4-2 and 0-4-0 in MIAA play.
Senior Camie Rietberg (Wyoming, Mich./Calvin Christian) started the scoring in the 20th minute off a corner kick from junior Emily Van Vliet (Grandville, Mich./Calvin Christian). Rietberg headed the ball in from the center of the box.
With 29 seconds before halftime, freshman Abby Koops (Holland, Mich./Holland Christian) scored her team-leading fourth goal of the season with a shot to the far post from the six-yard box.
The Knights out-shot Alma in the first half, 10-3.
Freshman Amy Kliewer (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Northern) and the Calvin defense stood strong on Thursday. The Knights were able to keep the ball out of the net in the 69th minute when the Scots threw three shots to the net.
"It was a great opportunity to play under the lights and have the opportunity to take part in Calvin history," said Pausma. "It feels good to put a few goals away and have every player contribute to the field. The atmosphere and the fans were terrific. We are excited for many more night games at Zuidema Field for both the women's and the men's teams."
Kliewer posted a career-high six saves on Thursday and tallied her third shutout of the season.
The Knights recorded season-high 23 shots and held Alma to 11 shots on the evening. Sydney Barcey led all players with four shots.
The four goals are a season-high for the Knights.
The Maroon and Gold return to action on Saturday when they travel west to renew the rivalry at Hope. The Knights lead the all-time series against the Flying Dutch, 34-16-5.