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Calvin knocks out Messiah and F&M en route to DIII final four

Michigan college played spoiler in sectional finals in Grantham, Pa.

Calvin College spoiled Messiah College’s perfect season on their home field on Friday and then knocked off Franklin & Marshall a day later to advance to the Division III final four.

The Knights got past fourth-ranked Messiah with a come from behind double overtime victory on Friday. Jacob Bender put the Falcons up in the eighth minute but Calvin got an equalizer from Bobby McCaw and a golden goal from Jacob Witte in the 108th minute.

They fell behind again a day later to Franklin & Marshall, 1-0 winners over SUNY Cortland on Friday, when Paul McWhirter put the Diplomats up in the 49th minute. But Isky Van Doorne found an equalizer in the 60th minute and Bobby McCaw, Jacob Lyon and Stephan Hooker all added goals to end F&M’s first elite eight match on a bitter note.

The berth to the NCAA Division III semifinals is the second straight for Calvin and the fourth in program history. Messiah was denied a chance to return to the final four for the first time since they won back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013.

Tufts University, University of St. Thomas in Minnesota and Brandeis University are joining Calvin in the final four in Salem, Virginia on Friday. Calvin will play Brandeis and Tufts will take on St. Thomas in two semifinal matches.

Tufts has two players from the Philadelphia region in senior midfielder Kevin Lawson (Narberth, Pa.) and freshman forward Joseph Braun (Yardley, Pa.).