Men’s soccer demonstrates strong team in victory against rival Hope College

Photo+Courtesy+Calvin+Knights

Katelyn

Photo Courtesy Calvin Knights

The Calvin men’s soccer defeated rival Hope College last week Saturday. The win brought them to an overall record of 7-0-1 and 3-0-0 in the MIAA conference.

The Knights looked strong from the start as senior Taylor Pruis scored early on a free kick, assisted by first-year student defender Trent Vegter. Pruis scored again later in the first half, and fellow seniors Sam Hanover and Nick Groenewold tallied goals in the second half.

Calvin’s defense performed well during the first half of the game, as they denied Hope any opportunity to shoot against senior goalkeeper Niko Giantsopoulos. Because of this, the Knights were able to control possession of the ball, putting pressure on Hope’s defense. During the second half of the match the Knights’ defense allotted seven opportunities for Hope to score with two saves from Giantsopoulos.

Although a defensive player, Groenewold contributed off of a corner kick in the final minutes of the game. As a senior, he has taken a great leadership role on the field, and being in the back of the field allows him to communicate to his teammates and keep everyone under control throughout the game. He was very proud of his team after the game.

“We did the things we wanted to do, we executed them well, and it’s always good when you beat Hope.” said Groenewold. “Especially in a game like this, having four years of experience, it’s good for the younger guys to keep them in line by staying focused on the little things and not losing our heads.”

Head coach Ryan Souders was also very impressed with his team, and believes on working his team one day at a time.

“Hope has a great program and anytime you can get four points off a rival it’s a good day. We just need to be committed to today and then the next day and the next day and try to build on those.”

The majority of starters are upperclassmen, though Groenewold and coach Souders are very pleased with the hard work and dedication put in by the first-year students.

“We have a decent amount of [first-year students] who come in and play good minutes and make great impacts which is really good to have because some of the starters need rest time, but the level doesn’t drop,” Groenewold continued. “In practice they challenge everyone and from one to 26 [players] it’s the best we’ve had.”

Coach Souders said he loves having the first-year students on the team because of the energy and character they bring, as well as their ability to perform.

Groenewold said that Calvin’s soccer team has been off to a great start and he believes if they continue to build on that and push each other every day in training, they can go wherever they want.