Calvin moves on, trounces Loras
Pair of freshman do damage in first half to lead Knights
DUBUQUE, Iowa -- For the third year in a row and for the fourth time under current head coach Chris Hughes, Calvin is headed back to the round of 16 of the NCAA Division III tournament. The Knights punched their ticket to the next round with an emphatic 4-0 victory against 12th-ranked Loras Saturday night at the Rock Bowl.
Calvin jumped on host Loras with first-half goals by freshmen Sean Broekhuizen and Travis Vegter to take a 2-0 halftime lead. Broekhuizen was able to give the Knights a 1-0 lead by heading in a free kick by sophomore Lawrence Murray in the 27th minute of play. In the 36th minute, Vegter got loose on a 2-on-1 breakaway with sophomore teammate Ben Honeycutt and drove a shot home to give the Knights a 2-0 lead.
The fact that Calvin’s first two goals were scored by freshmen was also not lost on Hughes. “The coaching staff talked about that at halftime,” Hughes said. “It’s exciting to see a pair of freshmen step up like that in such a big game. It’s exciting for the future of our program and shows the type of depth that we’ve built with this team.”
In the second half, Calvin’s bend-but-not break defensive style continued to frustrate the host Duhawks andin the 76th minute, sophomore Zach Willis broke free on a pass from senior Brad Heethuis and whipped in his team-leading 12th goal of the year to put the Knights up 3-0.
Less than two minutes later, Willis picked up his 13th goal of the year off a rare assist from Calvin goalkeeper Michael Dolan. The goal came off a Loras corner kick with Loras goalkeeper Nate DuBois moving into the Calvin box in an attempt to place an extra attacker in an attempt to score. Dolan was able to redirect the Loras corner kick over a scrum of players out onto the feet of Willis who broke free and launched a shot into a wide-open net to close out the scoring.
Loras (17-3-3) outshot Calvin 17-11 but Dolan had five saves to record his eighth shutout of the year.
After the game, Hughes praised his defensive backline of senior Justin Ahearne, junior Dan Nederhoed, Murray and Broekhuizen.
Calvin is now 12-9-4 all-time in NCAA Division III tournament play including 4-2-4 over the last three years.