ANGOLA, Ind. - Soccer is usually a game where goals are hard to come by, especially late in the game. However, for the Trine University men’s soccer team, it was two goals in the final four minutes that gave them their final regular season win over Kalamazoo College 2-1. With the win, the Thunder (13-4-2, 9-4-1) scored the third seed in the MIAA conference tournament as they will travel to second seeded Hope College for a 3:00 p.m. match on November 4.
Defense played a huge role for both sides in the first half, as both teams were able to get just one shot on goal. The first 20 minutes of the second half looked like neither team would score as the offenses continued to struggle. Finally in the 67th minute, the Hornets broke open the scoreless tie as two crossing passes left the Kalamazoo player open in the middle of the box. That’s how the game would remain for the next 20 minutes.
With time winding down, Trine’s hopes for a win grew smaller with each tick of the clock. With less than five minutes remaining the Thunder finally broke free. A quick pass up the field to Foster Webb (Auburn, Ind./Dekalb) got the fans up on their feet. Webb drove around a defender, faked out the Kalamazoo goalkeeper and found a wide open Andre Hilson (Bremen, Ind./Bremen) who put the ball in the back of the net to tie the game.
The goal brought the Thunder fans back into the game as they got on their feet waiting for Trine to score the game-winner, and the Thunder didn’t want to disappoint them. With just 1:21 left in the game, Webb scored his team-leading 10th goal of the season as he fired a rocket of a shot from nearly 40 yards out. Webb buried the ball into the bottom right corner of the net as the team and crowd both erupted in celebration.
Nick Thon (South Haven, Mich./South Haven) earned the win in goal as he made two saves, one in each half.
Trine will now face Hope College in the semi-finals of the first-ever MIAA conference tournament. Hope led the season series over the Thunder 1-0-1. Hope defeated Trine 1-0 in Angola, while the two schools played to a scoreless tie in Holland.