2013 Season Outlook For Hope Women's Soccer
The Flying Dutch are coming off one of their best seasons in school history and look for more success in 2013.
The 14-6-2 overall record in 2012 featured the third-most wins in a season for a Hope women's soccer team. The Flying Dutch, coached by Leigh Sears, finished runner-up in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Tournament after tying for second place during the regular season with a 10-4-2 league record.
Sears is beginning her 13th season as Hope's coach. She is the Flying Dutch's winningiest coach with 127 career wins.
The roster of 26 features six seniors, 10 juniors, three sophomores and eight freshmen.
Hope has four co-captains: senior midfielder Rachael Rebhan of Zeeland (Zeeland East HS), senior midfielder Courtney Laux of Novi (Novi HS), junior midfielder Lindsey Bieri of Holland (Holland Christian HS) and junior defender Courtney Schmidt of Lowell (Lowell HS).
The Flying Dutch were picked third in the MIAA preseason coaches poll.
Bieri and Schmidt both received All-MIAA First Team recognition last season. Bieri also was named Hope's Offensive Most Valuable Player, while Schmidt was the Defensive MVP. Junior Erin Jipping of Holland (West Ottawa HS) made the All-MIAA Second Team.
Sophomore Kristin Hazlett of Bay Village, Ohio (Bay Village HS) was the Flying Dutch's most improved player last season.
Hope is highly regarded for its sportsmanship as well.
The Flying Dutch were one of only 15 NCAA programs, comprised of both men's and women's teams in every division, to be presented the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's Gold Team Ethics Award for completing the entire 2012 season without receiving either a yellow or red card. It was the third time in five seasons the Flying Dutch have gone through an entire season without receiving a yellow or red card. The NCAA soccer program for men and women in all divisions consists of 1,799 teams.