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Calvin Men’s and Women’s Soccer Defeated by Chicago
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Both Calvin soccer teams were defeated in their respective matches against the University of Chicago yesterday. The UChicago Maroons are ranked third in the nation for Division III Women’s Soccer, and second in the nation for Men’s Soccer, according to the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) United Soccer Coaches ranking. In addition, the Maroons men’s team made it to the Final Four last season, defeating the Calvin Knights 2-0 in the process.

The women played first, and the Knights took an early lead in the third minute after a corner by sophomore Jessie Paulson was headed in by senior Mackenna Nesky. It was her fifth goal of the season. The Maroons began to push intensely for an equalizer and were able to create several changes, but the Knights’ defense was up to the task. Their best chance was off a corner in the 18th minute, when Calvin goalkeeper Amy Kliewer did an excellent double-save, and a third shot was cleared off the line, to maintain the lead. Despite some good opportunities for the Knights late into the first half, the score remained 1-0.

Calvin came into the second half just as they had left in the first, looking for a goal to extend their lead. The ladies created some good chances, but in spite of this, it was Chicago who got the next goal. Seven minutes into the second half, junior Hanna Watkins scored on a swerving shot from outside the 18-yard box. Both teams battled aggressively to gain the lead, and chances came for both teams, but to no avail. Then, with one minute left in regulation, freshman Nicole Willing scored what would be the game-winning goal for the Maroons.

The men’s game began at 5 p.m., and things were fairly even between the two sides. The Knights quickly began to dominate possession and create chances. Calvin found the back of the net in the 27th minute, but the goal did not stand because of an offside call. Soon afterwards, a curling effort from the Knights hit the post. Calvin dominated possession and created the best chances in the first half, but they were unable to score because of some tough, aggressive defending and pressure from Chicago.

Chicago was able to find some more rhythm during the second half. They created a counterattack opportunity that led to a free kick just outside Calvin’s 18-yard box. Senior Matthew Koh stepped up to take the free kick, and was able to curl it over the wall and score for the Maroons five minutes into the half. The Knights pushed for an equalizer, but they were unable to dominate possession as much as they did in the first half. Chicago’s aggressive defending and attacking resulted in some yellow cards for players on both sides as the game got more physical. With 15 minutes left on the clock, the referee called a foul inside the Knights’ box and awarded a penalty to the Maroons. Sophomore goalkeeper Chris Morrish was able to step up and save the penalty, keeping the score at 1-0. The Knights gained some momentum, but they could not find a way through the resolute Chicago defense, and the Maroons held out to win 1-0.

Calvin Soccer will be back in action soon. The ladies will be playing their first conference game on Saturday, Sept. 29 at home against Kalamazoo at 7 p.m. The men will be traveling to Kalamazoo on Wednesday, Sept. 26 for a non-conference game, and they will begin their conference season on Oct. 3 with a home game against Hope College.

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