Nov. 20, 2010

Courtesy of Calvin Athletics

There some moments that feel like they last a lifetime. For the Calvin mens soccer team one of those moments may be its 2010 Sweet Sixteen contest against University of Wisconsin Whitewater Friday night. 17 minutes into the first half, the Warhawks struck first off of a throw in 30 yards out. The ball was tapped around in front of the net and the Knights were unable to clear the ball when Ryan Richgels tapped in the first goal of the match inside the near post. Though the Knights fell behind early, they had their opportunities to equalize on multiple occasions in the first half.

This game was an uphill battle…After they (UW- Whitewater) scored, the momentum started kicking in and our guys just started focusing a bit more. When we fall behind we tend to work harder, faster, and stronger,” said Coach Chris Hughes after the game.

The increased focus paid off eight minutes after the Warhawks goal when Tyler Vegter answered the call and buried a header inside the far post off of a nifty cross from the left corner compliments of Michael Sanderson.

We showed a lot of resiliency in this game, we needed a goal to get back in it and Vegter delivered a goal for us when we needed it.”

After scoring the game tying goal, the Knights took a more aggressive approach and had multiple opportunities inside the penalty box but were unable to capitalize on opportunities.

One such opportunity was put on by Chris Nance early in the first half. Nance put a ball on from just outside the penalty area which deflected off the inside of the post, a shot which normally would take a friendly bounce into the back of the net, but this time it deflected directly back off the post and back in to play.

Such is the way the game went for the rest of the time between these two teams. The Knights and Warhawks played another 20 minutes of added time but were unable to draw blood pushing the match in to a penalty shootout.

With history on the Knights side, they went into the penalty shootout sporting three underclassmen. Our underclassmen are helping bring us back to where we were last year. It isnt just one or two of them, all of them are putting in the hard work and helping to push this team forward,” said Hughes.

After having successfully navigated three penalty shootouts dating back to last years NCAA tournament, the Knights had history on their side heading in. The penalty shootout would go through eight rounds before Ryan Bratt would make a stop and give the Knights a chance to clinch victory.

That is all Miles Colago would need, burying the final shot in the penalty round and pushing the Knights to victory. The Knights will now look forward to facing UW-Oshkosh who ended the regular season ranked 11th in the top 25 poll.

I couldnt be more proud of my team,” were the words of Hughes after this game, and that is exactly what this Knights team is playing with, pride.