GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - In a meeting of nationally-ranked teams, Calvin dropped a 2-1 overtime thriller to non-conference rival Ohio Wesleyan University Saturday night at Zuidema Field.
Ohio Wesleyan (1-1-0) scored the game-winning goal with five seconds left in the first overtime sesson. Calvin (1-1-0) sent the game into overtime on a goal by freshman Alex Bowser (Canton, Mich./Plymouth HS) with 4:11 left in regulation.
It marked the fourth time since 2014 that the two opponents have gone to overtime against each other. It also marked the fifth time since 2014 that a meeting between the two rivals has been decided by a 2-1 scoreline with Calvin winning three of those five.
Ranked 11th by D3soccer.com, Ohio Wesleyan carried the play early in the first half and broke through for a goal in the 15th minute as Ryan Roberts was sprung free through the left wing on a lead pass from Antonio Romanelli and lifted a shot just over the reach of a charging Calvin goalkeeper Chris Morrish (Bradendton, Fla./Saint Stephen's Episcopal School). Morrish later made a series of clutch saves in the first half including back-to-back acrobatic stops in the 39th minute to keep it a one-goal game.
Calvin gradually began to build possession and tempo in the second half. With just under five minutes left in regulation, Calvin received its sevemth corner kick of the half. Senior Dillon Weldy (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) served the corner into the box. A defender deflected the ball to the top of the box but sophomore Mason Smith (Flint, Mich./Flint Powers Catholic HS) was able to settle the ball and send a low hard ball into the goalmout. with a step to his right, Bowser redirected the ball past Ohio Wesleyan goalkeeper J.P. Baughman to tie the score. In the 89th minute, freshman Chris Schau (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) and Ian Adams (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) fired shots at goal that were saved by Baughman.
In overtime, Calvin carried the play and nearly won the match in the 93rd minute as Weldy fired a shot that was saved and then hit a rebound shot that rang the crossbar. Freshman Justin Wocjcik (Canton, Mich./Plymouth HS) followed with a rebound shot of his own that was blocked in the goalmouth. Calvin followed with two corner kicks and a shot but did not strike gold.
The Battling Bishops were able to gain possession in the final minute-and-a-half and with just over 20 seconds remaining, gained a corner kick. Ohio Wesleyan midfielder Hector Gomez bent the subsequent corner into the box and teammate Brady Whittekind was able to power in a header in the final seconds to win the game.
Ohio Wesleyan finished the game with a 20-14 shots at goal advantage but the Knights were able to match their opponents in the second half with seven shots as well as a 4-2 advantage in overtime.
Morrish had five saves in goal for Calvin while Baughman had eight saves for Ohio Wesleyan.
Calvin returns to action next Friday when it faces Transylvania University at 5 p.m. in a tournament hosted by Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio.