By Gina de Haan
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Calvin men's lacrosse team fell 8-4 in its home opener at Grand Rapids Christian high school on Saturday afternoon.
With the loss, the Knights fall to 0-2 on the season, while the Cardinals improve to 2-0.
North Central scored the first three goals to build an early lead. With just under a minute remaining in the first quarter, freshman Noah Boelens (Round Lake, Ill./Grayslake Central) fed senior Michael Winkler (La Quinta, Calif./Palm Desert) to put the Knights on the board.
Midway through the second quarter, the Cardinals scored again to regain their three-goal advantage before Boelens assisted junior Austin Bontreger (Fishers, Ind./Heritage Christian) two minutes later to make the score 4-2.
North Central responded with another goal, but Calvin sophomore Griffin Sparling (Novi, Mich./Novi) capitalized on a man-advantage opportunity to make the score 5-3. Boelens earned his third assist on the scoring play. The Cardinals scored a minute later to head into the halftime break with a 6-3 advantage.
At the half, North Central held a 23-7 shots advantage.
Calvin reduced the deficit to two goals out of the break as Winkler fed Bontreger for the Knights' fourth goal. However, the Knights were held scoreless for the remainder of the contest, while the Cardinals scored two more goals to earn a four-goal victory.
North Central outshot Calvin 50-16, while scooping up 37 ground balls compared to the Knights' 25. The Knights completed 13-22 clearing attempts, while the Cardinals completed 9-10.
Calvin goalkeeper freshman Michael Wong (Schaumburg, Ill./Schaumburg) recorded 21 saves and a team-high seven ground balls in the loss.
Bontreger led the Knights' offense with two goals on three shots. Winkler posted a team-high six shots for one goal, while also scooping up three ground balls.
Saturday's contest marked the first of a two-game home stand for the Knights as Calvin will host DePauw next Saturday. The Knights will be back in action at Grand Rapids Christian High at 1 p.m.