The Hope College men's lacrosse team fought to add a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament title to its historic season, but a determined and experienced opponent spoiled those plans.
Albion College scored the final three goals Saturday and defeated the Flying Dutchmen 11-8 at Van Andel Soccer Stadium. The Britons avenged a 14-11 loss at home to Hope 12 days ago to claim the MIAA"s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
The 36-team Tournament NCAA field is announced Monday at 9 p.m. There are nine at-large berths.
Hope, who ended Albion's three-season reign as regular-season champion, has a 15-2 overall record. The Flying Dutchmen lost for the first time since the February 24 opener at Carthage (Wisconsin) College — a team-record 15-match win streak.
Albion (10-7 overall) held Hope to four goals over the final three quarters after the Flying Dutchmen jumped out to a 4-1 lead.
Sophomore Max Kuiper of Grand Rapids, Michigan (Forest Hills Central HS) evened the score at 8-8 with his third goal of the match 2 minutes, 25 seconds into the fourth quarter.
Brandon Lebioda answered 1:26 later with his third goal of the match with a go-ahead goal. Anthony Zugaro struck again 44 seconds later.
The Britons were one of only two teams to reach double-digit goals against Hope this season. The Flying Dutchmen entered the match ranked third in the nation in scoring defense at 5.56 goals allowed per game.
Goalie Nick Schanhals of North Muskegon, Michigan (North Muskegon) made eight saves for Hope.
Junior Nathaniel Hentschel of Spring Lake, Michigan (Spring Lake) chipped in two goals for the Flying Dutchmen.