GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Calvin clinched the outright MIAA regular season title with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Albion Wednesday night at Eagles Stadium on the campus of Grand Rapids Christian High School.
The Knights are the top seed for the upcoming MIAA Tournament and will host a semifinal game next Wednesday at Zuidema Field.
Ranked second nationally, Calvin (18-1-0 overall, 7-0-0 MIAA) scored an early goal and added a late clinching goal to earn the final three points of the MIAA regular season.
Senior Dillon Weldy (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) gave Calvin a 1-0 lead just 2:14 into the match, receiving a pass in the box from senior Ian Adams (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) and redirecting a shot to the far post that found the back of the net. The goal was the eighth of the year for Weldy while the assist was the 17th of the season for Adams.
The game then settled into a defensive scrum with Calvin freshman goalkeeper Daniel Wunder (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) coming up with a strong kick save on a shot in the box in the 18th minute of play.
Calvin outshot the Britons (7-9-1 overall, 2-5-0 MIAA) 10-4 in each half and finally broke through for a second goal in the 86th minute as sophomore Sam Twigg (Auckland, New Zealand HS) poked in a shot from close range after receiving a short pass from freshman Aguma Muhumuza (Baton Rouge, La./The Dunham School).
Moments later, Albion peppered Wunder with back-to-back shots in the box with Wunder turning both Albion strikes away with sprawling saves. Wunder finished the game with five saves including four in the second half to pitch his fifth consecutive shutout.
COACHES COMMENT: "First of all I want to thank everyone at Grand Rapids Christian and our own support personnel for allowing us to use this facility on a tough night for weather," said Calvin men's soccer coach Ryan Souders. "I don't think this was our best game but Albion deserves a lot of credit for that. It wasn't because of a lack of effort on our part. We were just a little bit off after scoring that first goal. A credit to our guys though, we found a way to get the three points and it feels great. Our league has been very challenging this year. We are thankful to have the chance to play at home again and also to have a few etra days of rest to heal up and prepare for the conference tournament. To win a league championship is always a special accomplishment and I am proud of my team for achieving this goal."
NEXT UP: Calvin will host the winner of a first round MIAA Tournament game between Adrian and Albion next Wednesday at Zuidema Field. Trine will travel to Adrian on Saturday for a first round MIAA Tournament game with Calvin receiving a first round bye.