The men’s soccer team got their first win of the conference season this past Saturday with a commanding 4-0 win over the visiting Albion Britons.
After scoring just one goal in their first two conference games, netting four against the Britons was a sigh of relief for a young Hornet team.
“It was very important to get the first win,” said junior Jory Finkelberg.
First-Year Dylan Jolliffe opened the scoring for the Hornets with a goal in the 23rd minute; his second of the season. The game remained at just 1-0 heading into halftime before the Hornets took over the contest with three second-half goals.
The first-year trend continued for the Hornets when Kyle Hernandez opened up the scoring for K in the second half with a 53rd minute goal. Fellow first-year Joshua Robison assisted on the score. Goals by juniors Spencer MacDonald and Werner Roennecke rounded out the day for the Hornets.
“With such a young team, it was important to get some confidence and get ourselves back on track,” said Finkelberg.
The first-year players were the talk of the game for K. For large chunks of the match, K featured lineups with eight total freshmen on the pitch. Among them was the goalkeeper, Kellon Johnston-Roper. Johnston-Roper made six saves in the match on his way to a shutout in the first start of his young career. Johnson-Roper started in place of the regular starter, junior Beau Prey, and gave the Hornets a reason to be confident in both of their keepers.
While the young team looked veteran against Albion, they are not without growing pains. Their first two MIAA games resulted in a pair of losses: 2-1 vs. Adrian and 3-0 at Olivet.
“The freshmen players are handling the transition well, but adjusting to the high level of physicality that comes with MIAA play is not an easy task,” said Finkelberg.
“It takes time to get everyone to mesh into such a demanding program, but we are making great strides,” said junior Emerson Talanda-Fisher.
The Hornets continued their MIAA season when they hosted Alma on Tuesday, October 1. Following the game against the Scots, the Hornets travel to Calvin this Saturday, October 5.
“We simply need to maintain our mentality of out-working everyone and fighting harder than every opponent,” said Talanda-Fisher. “We have a very skilled team, but keeping focus for all ninety minutes is crucial to our success.”
Also in action this past Saturday was the women’s soccer team when they lost 3-0 to the visiting Calvin College in the first game of the doubleheader that featured the men’s game immediately after.
They played in front of the home crowd for the second day in a row with a loss against the University of Chicago, 2-0, on Sunday.
The loss extended their goalless streak to three straight games dating back to September 18 when the team scored four in a win against Albion. They have been outscored 10-0 over the course of those three matches.
The women’s team will look to right the ship on the road at rival Hope College on Wednesday, October 2. They round out the week with another road match on Saturday at Alma.