The men’s soccer team is the number two seed in this season’s MIAA postseason tournament. They will host number three seed Alma on Wednesday night at 7:00 pm at MacKenzie Field.
Last week men’s soccer finished their season with a 2-1 loss at Adrian, this brought them to a 10-4 final conference record for the regular season. While finishing the season in second place behind nationally ranked Calvin is frustrating for the Hornets, their primary focus now shifts to Alma in the conference tournament.
“Everything is on Alma now, that’s our focus,” says Head Coach Lumumba Shabazz. This is Shabazz’s fourth year coaching the Hornets. His teams have reached the conference semi-final in all four of his seasons in charge. Last year was the first year under Coach Shabazz where they made it to the conference final, eventually losing to Calvin on penalty kicks.
The matchup with Alma will be a challenge for the Hornets as both games verses Alma this regular season ended in dramatic fashion. The first game, away at Alma, was won 2-1 by the Hornets as Josh Robison K’17 scored the winning goal with just two minutes remaining in double overtime. The return fixture showed K scoring two goals with less than eight minutes remaining in the game to claim a another 2-1 victory.
This season has shown K score 34 goals, thanks in large part to forward Cal Kirchen K’17. His 14 goals led the MIAA in the regular season. Thomas Bryant K’18 and Kyle Hernandez K’17 both have 5 goals this season. Hernandez, one of the conference’s most dynamic players (he was All-MIAA second team last season), also has 5 assists this year and will be looking to make a large impact on the game.
However, Alma has only allowed 15 goals against this conference season which means their stingy defense will be tough for the Hornets to get through.
Coach Shabazz hopes that a large student crowd will provide a “12th man” like feeling for his boys and that this support can help give them the extra energy that leads to victory.