The Kalamazoo College women’s soccer team increased their first place lead in the MIAA Conference Saturday afternoon with a 2-0 victory over Olivet College at MacKenzie Field.
Senior Paige Sambor ’16 opened the scoring, and sophomore Sarah George doubled the lead with a goal later in the first half. The Hornets’ stellar defense kept the Comets scoreless for the full 90 minutes, thanks in large part to senior goalkeeper Grace Smith ’16 who recorded her fourth shutout of the season. The win Saturday extended the team’s win streak to seven, improving their record to 7-0-1 in the MIAA.
While they have been previously praised for their incredible depth, talent, drive, and rapport were also on the Hornets’ side.
“The Kzoo girls seemed to have great camaraderie,” noted student observer Nebiyat Girma. “Especially when compared to their opponents–it seemed like they weren’t on the same page. But we always were.”
Although the stands were initially sparse, turnout increased noticeably as the game went on. First-year fan Kevin McCarty noted “lots of familial support” in the crowd, but couldn’t help but wonder where the student section was.
“The lack of student spectators is shocking, given the team’s impressive winning streak,” he said. This was especially curious when compared to the Hornets’ football team, which was defeated by Alma the same afternoon, yet still managed to draw larger crowds.
Still, there were certainly some notable supporters in attendance–once such fan was new Kalamazoo College President Jorge Gonzalez. Dr. Gonzalez, a longtime soccer enthusiast and witness to such epic matches as the 2012 London Olympics men’s soccer gold medal match between Mexico and Brazil, who had high praises for the team.
“It’s great to see us first in the conference,” he told The Index after the game. “They’ve had a great season so far, and we’ll all be cheering them on Tuesday night against Hope.”
A trio of goals from seniors helped the Men’s Soccer team complete the soccer sweep on Saturday by defeating Hope, following the Women’s team’s 2-0 victory earlier in the day.
Just after the midway point in the first half, senior Cal Kirchen slotted home on a set piece from junior Benjamin Kileen to open the scoring.
The Hornets added 2 more goals from seniors Roger Mason Darling and Kyle Hernandez to extend the lead to 3-0 in the second half.
Hope managed to get one goal back later in the second half, but the Hornets’ defense held strong for the last 20 minutes to see out the 3-1 victory.
The rivalry between the Hornets and Dutchmen was clear throughout, with the teams combining for 36 fouls and 5 yellow cards.
With their victory on Saturday night, the Hornets have won 2 of their last 3 matches, and pull within 2 points of fourth place Alma in the MIAA.
Kalamazoo will look to continue their run of good form on Wednesday night at Albion as they reach the midway point of the MIAA season.