Nov. 14, 2009

Courtesy of Calvin Athletics

WHEATON, IL - The Calvin men's soccer team is headed to the Round of 16 after winning a penalty kick shootout over Wartburg (IA) 3-2 Saturday night in a second round game of the NCAA III Tournament played at Wheaton College.

Calvin (16-4-2) will face the winner of a second round game between Carnegie-Mellon (PA) and Medaille (PA) next weekend at a site yet to be determined.

Saturday's game between Calvin and Wartburg will officially go in the books as a 0-0 double-overtime tie but the Knights will be the team advancing.

In its only prior shootout, Calvin dropped a 3-2 decision to Fredonia State of New York in a 2005 third round NCAA III Tournament game.

Calvin came out on the winning end of the shootout Saturday night, thanks in part to third-string goalkeeper Ryan Bratt who was pressed into duty last Saturday against rival Hope after Calvin's first two goalies suffered injuries.

A native of Silver Spring, Maryland, the 6-6 Bratt came up huge in the shootout, making two clutch saves including a stop on Wartburg's fifth and final attempt that clinched the shootout win for the Knights.

"Heading into the shootout, I was obviously excited," said Bratt. "I just wanted to step up huge for our team. I wanted to prove that I'm better than a normal third string goalie."

Calvin won the coin toss for the shootout and elected to shoot second. The strategy paid off as Wartburg's first shooter hit the goalpost.

Calvin junior Scott Hooker (Hudsonville/Unity Christian HS) then ripped in Calvin's first penalty kick and Bratt followed with his first shootout save on a low hard shot by Wartburg's Brandon Cook. Moments later, Calvin junior Dan Kmetz gave Calvin a 2-0 lead with a penalty kick goal.

Wartburg then sandwiched back-to-back goals around an attempt by Calvin senior Luke Holtrop that was saved by Wartburg keeper Trent Michael, tying the score 2-2.

Calvin freshman Joe Broekhuizen (Grand Rapids/South Christian HS) put the Knights back up 3-2, drilling a laser to the far corner, setting up Bratt's final heroics with a penalty kick stop on an attempt taken by Wartburg's Jeff Miller.

"I am so happy for my seniors," said Calvin men's soccer coach Chris Hughes. "I am also thrilled for all of Calvin's soccer alumni. This game belongs to them too. I want to also give credit to Wartburg which has a very good side. They were physical and they were very good on the ball. They gave us a great game and we're just thrilled to be moving on."

Hughes also commented on Bratt's play in goal in the shootout. "Ryan Bratt was not only terrific in the shootout, he was also terrific throughout the game," said Hughes. "Before the shootout, I looked Ryan in the eye and he told me, `Coach, I want this,' so I knew he was ready for the moment."

Prior to the shootout, Calvin finished with a 20-16 shots at goal advantage although Wartburg held a 12-8 edge in the second half.

Bratt finished the game with six saves for Calvin while Michael had five saves for Wartburg (16-4-2).

Saturday's game marked the second meeting between Calvin and Wartburg in NCAA III Tournament play. Wartburg defeated Calvin 1-0 in overtime in a second round game in 2004.