GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The No. 5 Calvin men's soccer team welcomed the No. 2 University of Chicago Maroons to Zuidema Field on Saturday for a nonconference match. The Knights took their first loss of the season, falling 1-0 to the Maroons in a competitive, physical contest. Saturday's contest featured a rematch of a Round of 16 NCAA III Tournament game last fall.
Calvin moves to 7-1-0 on the year with the loss, while Chicago improves to 8-0-1 overall.
The Knights' offense came out strong, collecting a trio of early shots off set pieces. Calvin found the back of the net in the 24th minute, but the goal was called off as the ball was ruled out of bounds along the end line before the shot. In the 29th minute, the Knights came close to getting on the board again as freshman Mason Smith (Flint, Mich./Flint Powers Catholic) fired a shot off the far post.
In the first half, Calvin racked up 12 shots, including three shots on goal, and had five corner kick opportunities.
Chicago's offense stepped up in the second half as the Maroons moved into the lead. The Maroons only had three shots in the first half, but struck first early in the second half to go ahead. After a Calvin foul, Chicago senior Matthew Koh capitalized on a free kick opportunity from just outside the box, curling a shot into the upper left corner of the goal.
The Maroons were awarded a penalty kick in the 74th minute, but Max Lopez was robbed of a goal by Calvin sophomore goalkeeper Chris Morrish (Bradenton, Fl./Saint Stephen's Episcopal School).
With a spark from the penalty kick save, the Knights saw back-to-back chances during a flurry of activity in the box in the 75th minute, but both shots were denied by the Maroons. Calvin had another solid chance late in the game off a long throw-in from senior defender Trent Vegter (Hudsonville, Mich./Unity Christian), but Chicago goalkeeper Aaron Katsimpalis came up with the ball.
The Knights outshot their visitors 19-9 in the loss, including nine shots on goal. Chicago was called for 13 fouls in the winning effort. Calvin's Morrish posted four saves in the loss.
Calvin is back in action on Wednesday as it travels to Kalamazoo to open its conference season against the Hornets. Game time is set for 5 p.m.