(photo courtesy of Anderson-Nelson Photography)
NORTH PARK, Il. - Calvin University advanced to the national quarterfinals with a 1-0 victory over sectional host North Park University in double overtime Friday night. Calvin has now advanced to the national quarterfinals for the fourth time in the last five years.
The first half of Friday's NCAA III Tournament Sectional Semifinal between the Knights of Calvin University (21-1-1) and the Vikings of North Park University (16-4-2) was a battle of possession for both teams. Each team had its chances with Calvin missing an opportunity off a cross from freshman Justin Wojcik (Canton, MI/Plymouth) to Sam Twigg (Auckland, New Zealand / New Zealand HS), and North Park had its own chance with a shot just inside the box that went wide left. The half came to a close with a score of 0-0.
In the second half both teams came had plenty of opportunities to score, but no one was able to put one away. Senior Hunter Olson (Canton, MI / Canton), had a clean break on goal early in the second half but North Park keeper Mathias Stulen came away with the clutch save. Senior Jake Lyon (Holt, MI / Lansing Christian) also had a chance when the ball was bouncing around near the six-yard box but the loose ball was eventually punched out by Stulen.
North Park fought back with many chances toward the end of the second half. A shot attempt from about thirty yards out was on its way into the goal, but it hit the bottom of the cross bar and bounced out. Another close attempt happened within the last minute of the game as a strike from the Vikings came from the outside corner and junior Chris Morris (Bradenton, Fla. / Saint Stephen's Episcopal School) made a leaping save – one of three he had on the night.
The Morrish save helped send the game into overtime.
The first overtime went back to a possession battle with neither team gaining an edge with few opportunities. It continued into the second overtime as well until Calvin was able to breakthrough with 1:22 left in the second overtime. Senior Ian Adams (Grand Rapids, MI / Grand Rapids Christian) scored on a shot to the lower right-hand corner with the assist going to Olson and sophomore Mason Smith (Flint, Mich./Flint Powers Catholic HS).
Calvin gets the win and advances to the national quarterfinals. The Knights will face Luther College (Ia.) on Saturday at 4 p.m. (EST) at North Park's Holmgren Athletic Complex.
COACHES COMMENTS: "A great college soccer game and North Park is a great soccer team," said Calvin head men's soccer coach Ryan Souders. "North Park is well-coached and battle tested but credit our guys because they found a way to win tonight. Our back four did a great job, Chris (Morrish) with some great saves, and Ian the senior put one away late. Everyone contributed to this team win. We are ecstatic to getting the win and being able to play tomorrow. Huge thanks to Knight nation and representingCalvin well in Chicago."
UP NEXT: The Knights will play Luther of Iowa in the NCAA Quarterfinals at 4pm EST at North Park University.