KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Calvin advanced to the semifinals of the MIAA Tournament with a 4-1 first round MIAA Tournament victory over Kalamazoo Saturday evening at Zuidema Field.
With the win, Calvin (10-4-3) advances to the MIAA Tournament semifinals next Wednesday at Adrian in a match scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
In its win over Kalamazoo (9-7-2) Saturday, Calvin withstood early pressure from the Hornets and then turned the tables with a goal against the run of play. The Knights broke through in the 19th minute of play as senior Emily Van Vliet (Grandville, Mich./Calvin Christian HS) pounced on a loose ball near the top of the 18 and whizzed in a shot just inside the left post to give the Knights a 1-0 lead.
Calvin went up 2-0 in the 31st minutes as sophomore Maria VanderLei (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) bent in a corner kick that deflected back to sophomore Jessie Paulson (Plymouth, Mich./Plymouth Christian HS) at the near post. Paulson made no mistake by punching a shot into the corner of the net.
In the 70th minute, Kalamazoo picked up a new life line with a corner kick goal of its own as Kai Ketola deflected in a corner from teammate Sarah George.
Paulson answered exactly two minutes later, ripping a left-footed blast from the right wing that splashed inside the upper 90. The Paulson goal was assisted by Van Vliet on a back-pass. Kalamazoo took the ensuing kick and moved right into the Calvin 18-yard box with Ketola blasting a shot from the right of center that Calvin goalkeeper Amy Kliewer (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Northern HS) was able to parry away for a key save.
Van Vliet provided the clinching goal with just under seven minutes left in regulation as she smacked in a shot on a feed from sophomore Elizabeth Redfield (Cedar Springs, Mich./Northpointe Christian HS) for her team-leading 11th goal of the season.
Calvin finished the game with a 24-11 shots at goal advantage including 15-5 in the second half. Kliewer came up with six saves for the Knights.
"Kalamazoo came at us hard," said Calvin women's soccer coach Emily Ottenhoff. "They came at us a lot harder than they did the first time we played them. We kind of knew we would get that kind of effort from Kalamazoo and props to them for pushing us like that. They probably deserved to get one early against us but that's how soccer goes sometimes. We held them off, got the first goal and that got some momentum on our side. We're happy to get the win. Now we go back to work to prepare for a very good Adrian team. We know we have a lot of work to do but we are looking forward to the opportunity."
Calvin has now advanced to the MIAA Tournament semifinals four consecutive years.