DUBUQUE, Iowa -- Calvin defeated Carthage  1-0 in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Calvin junior Nick Holtrop scored the only goal of the game, heading in a pass from sophomore Zach Willis in the 77th minute of play. Calvin was outshot 18-12 but junior goalkeeper Michael Dolan had five saves for the Knights to gain the shutout win.

turday night to face host Loras.

Calvin junior Nick Holtrop scored the only goal of the game, heading in a pass from sophomore Zach Willis in the 77th minute of play. Calvin was outshot 18-12 but junior goalkeeper Michael Dolan had five saves for the Knights to gain the shutout win.

In the first half, Calvin was outshot 11-4 but Dolan was forced to make just one save. Calvin came close to scoring midway through the first half on a rush through the left flank by freshman Dino Duratovic with Duratovic firing a shot that was deflected just wide of the net.

“The first half was a classic case of both teams feeling each other out and finding out what they could and could not do,” said Calvin men’s soccer coach Chris Hughes. “We made some adjustments in the second half and I think our depth really played a factor over the final 45 minutes as well.”

Both teams had strong chances to score prior to Holtrop’s late heroics. Holtrop had a pair of header shots early in the second half - one that was just wide off a corner and another was that saved by the Carthage goalkeeper. Carthage later had a shot from distance that clanged off the Calvin goalpost.

Holtrop then connected on a fine set-up by Willis to give the Knights the lead with time ticking down. The goal is the third game-winning score of the year for the Hudsonville Unity Christian High School graduate.

“Nick has a habit of being in the right place at the right time,” said Hughes. “He had come close to scoring earlier in the second half and his persistence really paid off.”

Calvin finished the second half with an 8-7 shots at goal advantage.

Calvin will be facing an opponent from Iowa in the second round of the NCAA III Tournament for the second time in three years. In 2009, Calvin faced Wartburg in the second round, advancing by way of a penalty kick shootout.