Calvin Men’s Soccer travels to Kansas City for the start of the NCAA III Semifinal Rounds


Photo Courtesy Calvin Sports Information

Calvin traveled to Kansas City, Mo., on Wednesday to compete in the NCAA Division III Semifinal. They are scheduled to play the DuHawks of Loras College on Thursday, December 4, at 8:30 p.m.

If the Knights win they will play the winner of Amherst College and Oneonta State in the national championship final on Friday, December 5, at 6:30 p.m.

The team has been preparing for this game like any other, according to junior Stephan Hooker. “Nothing has changed for us; we’re going to go about this game in the same way that we have done since the beginning of the season.”

As of this year, Calvin has appeared in the semifinal round of the NCAA III Tournament three times, and overall, has appeared in the tournament 14 times. This is head coach Ryan Souders’ first appearance in the semifinal round of the NCAA III tournament. During his career, Souders has a win-loss record of 72-11-6 which makes a winning percentage of .831.

For the first time in school history, the Knights have produced a 20-win campaign. The team is leading the nation in shutout percentage (0.80), team goals-against-average (0.20) and win percentage (.980).

Senior goalkeeper Niko Giantsopoulos has broken the NCAA III single-season record for shutouts, which totals at 19 this season. He also ranks second nationally in saves percentage (.912) and goals-against-average (.204).

At the beginning of the season the Knights set goals to conquer throughout their season. According to Hooker the team has met many of their original goals.

“We had a great start to the season in our non-conference games, won all in the regular season for conference, won our conference tournament, made it through the first weekend of the national tournament, and have made it to the Final Four. The only goal left is winning it all.”

Overall, the Knights have faced tough competition to be in the semifinal round of the NCAA III Tournament.

He goes on to explain Hooker explains that the team can beat anyone at this point, but they are also aware that they can be beaten by anyone.

“We’ve had to beat some of the best teams in the nation in order to get to where we are today.”