Sophomore J.R. Foster scored the Tigers' only goal
Senior Justin Wallace assisted on Foster's early goal
Senior Adam Lux recorded the shutout in goal
 

Tigers break spell, beat Calvin for first time in three years
by
Brian Parsons ’00


Game Statistics

Sometimes its better to be lucky than good. A goal that shouldn’t have been was, and a goal that should have been wasn’t.

After all that, the men’s soccer team still won its season opener against Calvin College, 1-0.

The win, the first in three years over the Knights, also marked the third year in a row the Tigers have started the season off with a win. And this one was dominated by a much faster DePauw team.

The DePauw midfield, led by seniors Craig Myers and Justin Wallace, controlled the ball for most of the entire game.

Only five minutes into the game the Tigers earned a corner kick from the left side. Sophomore forward J.R. Foster sent the ball into the box that was played on by senior midfielder Craig Myers. The ball rattled around for awhile before the Knights keeper, Matt Thelan, grabbed it, unleashing a collective groan from the partisan DePauw crowd.

A few moments later freshman Matt Joiner was up-ended by a Calvin defenseman about five yards out of the box, earning a free kick. Senior Justin Wallace ran over the ball, booting it just left of the Knights wall, and onto the foot of a rushing Foster who placed it cleanly in the right corner of the Calvin goal.

From the stands the play looked flawless, but after the game Wallace owned up to what really happened.

“I wanked the kick,” Wallace said, using his own terminology. “It was actually a lucky goal. Foster was making a run behind the wall, I wanked the ball, and luckily put it right on his foot.”

The Tigers midfield dominated the rest of the first half and almost added another goal before the end of the first half on another fluke play.

Freshman Tim Hufford played a ball to the box from about 35 yards out. He lobbed it in there with Foster running on. Thelan misjudged the bounce of the ball, and it almost went over him and in to the net, but Thelan made a backwards lunging punch shot to deflect it away.

Calvin head coach Dave VerMerris didn’t like the intense DePauw pressure being placed on his defense.

“We really wanted to come in here and get a lot of penetration in on [DePauw],” VerMerris said. “But we couldn’t go very far because of their attacking.”

The attacking for both sides slowed down considerably in the second half as the brutal afternoon heat tired most of the players from both sides out.

The lack of stamina at the end almost proved costly for the Tigers as senior keeper Adam Lux had to make two spectacular saves in the last ten minutes to maintain the shutout, and the win.

Calvin forward Brian Doumma took a long pass from a midfielder and had a one-on-one opportunity with Lux and shot high right. Lux guessed correctly, dove to his left, and made a sensational grab in mid-air.

“I really didn’t make that much of a challenge on the ball. I just followed his angle and was able to make the save,” Lux said.

DePauw had a chance to stretch the lead out several times but couldn’t take advantage of some great through balls to the forwards.

The best opportunity of the day came with six minutes left in the game. Freshman Chris Kessler took the ball down the line, juked his defender and dribbled towards the side of the net. The Calvin goalkeeper rushed at him, and Kessler played a great ball to junior Ryan Winkler who had an open net in front of him. Winkler should have trapped the ball and touched it in. Instead he tried to slam it to the back of the net and he got a little under the ball as it sailed high and right.

DePauw coach Page Cotton was still pleased with the effort by the forwards despite the inability to finish a couple of balls.

I thought this game could have been about 3-0,” Cotton said. We wanted to be solid defensively today so we only had two attackers. I was worried we wouldn’t get as many chances on goal, because we were going with three attackers before but I thought we played well up front.”

Although Cotton was happy with the win, he was a little disappointed with the number of yellow cards handed out to his team. Junior Brendan Landry along with Myers and Wallace all picked up yellow cards.

I thought [Wallace’s] card was questionable, but we have to keep that mental edge over our opponents. When we’re getting cards, obviously we lose that edge.”

The Tigers next face Colby College in Maine on Saturday.

  1 2   F
Calvin 0 0   0
DePauw 1 0   1
         
Scoring Summary
DePauw- J.R. Foster (Justin Wallace), 10:27