GREENSBORO, N.C. - Calvin fell to Tufts University 4-0 in the NCAA III Tournament semi-finals Friday night on the campus of the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.
The first half started with Calvin and Tufts playing similar styles and both teams getting close opportunities early. Tufts had an early chance ricochet off the crossbar while Calvin freshman Justin Wojick (Canton, Mich./Canton HS) gave the Knights a great chance with a shot just inside the box with it going towards the upper 90 but just over the bar.
The contest became a back-and-forth dual of close chances for both teams until Tufts put the first goal away in the 24th minute of play. Zach Lane of Tufts (19-2-2) got through the defense and found the back of the net. The Jumbos kept the offensive pressure up the rest of the half by scoring two more goals with shots outside the box. Calvin didn't have an answer in the first half and trailed 3-0 at halftime.
After halftime, Calvin (23-2-1) came out with energy and put the pressure on Tufts in the early minutes of the second half. Senior Ian Adams had a strong shot from just outside the box that was saved by Tufts keeper Erich Kindermann.
The Knights were not able to get on the board in the second half even with chances from senior Jake Lyon (Holt, Mich./Lansing Christian HS) and sophomore Sam Twigg (Auckland, New Zealand) with shots just outside the box. Tufts was able to put one more away late to provide the final margin of victory.
Calvin concludes a fantastic year with a conference championship in the regular season and league tournament. The Knights reached the NCAA III Final Four for the fourth time in the last five years and ended with an overall record of 23-2-1. It marks the fifth consecutive 20-win campaign for the Knights.
This national semi-final game concludes the collegiate careers of Hunter Olson (Canton, MI. / Canton), Ian Adams (Grand Rapids, MI / Grand Rapids Christian), Jacob Lyon (Holt, MI / Lansing Christian), Dillion Weldy (Grand Rapids, MI / Grand Rapids Christian) and Alex McDowell (Holt, MI / Lansing Christian). During their four-year tenure, the Knights produced an overall won-loss record of 88-8-2.
COACHES COMMENTS: "Credit to Tufts. They've been our kryptonite at this round of the tournament unfortunately," said Calvin head men's soccer coach Ryan Souders. "But credit our guys. I thought they fought and gave a good account of them in the second half. Tufts scored three goals that I think were better than any individual goals scored against us all year. I'm super proud of our guys. I don't think many people saw us getting here (national semifinals) this weekend. We graduated nine seniors from last year including a lot of talent. I'm really proud of our group for fighting to be here and also for the effort they displayed tonight."