By Lukas Cimbal
ADRIAN | Christian Dault scored his team-leading seventh goal, but it wasn't enough as the No. 3 seed Hope College men's soccer team saw its season come to an end in a 2-1 loss at No. 2 seed Adrian College in the MIAA Tournament semifinals on Wednesday night.
The Flying Dutchmen concluded their campaign with a 7-10-2 overall record, while Adrian College (11-5-2) will travel to No. 1 seed Calvin College on Saturday for the MIAA Tournament finals.
"That was a really nice shot by (Christian) Dault," Hope coach Steven Smith said. "That's what he is (in there) for, he's good at it and he had some tenacity to him tonight."
The 22-yard, left-footed rocket scored by Dault, a junior forward from Grand Haven, Michigan (Grand Haven HS), cut Adrian's lead to 2-1 with 27 minutes, 56 seconds remaining in regulation.
Hope had dominated the early portion of play in the first half, earning three corner kicks in the opening five minutes of the game. All of the possession was for naught though, as Adrian College freshman Jordan Miller beat a Hope player to the ball at the top of the Bulldogs' 18-yard box and raced the length of the field.
Sophomore goalkeeper Blair McCormick (Wadsworth, Ill./Warren Township HS) was able to get a piece of Miller's shot from about eight yards out, but the ball had enough momentum to put Adrian ahead 1-0 with 27:04 left in the first half.
"Adrian is a team that works extremely hard and they're good at the counterattacks," Smith said. "So while we're down here attacking, they sprung out and No. 14 (Miller) is effective, fast, and he goes end-to-end very quickly. We don't have speed in the back, so we've got to keep it locked in. We didn't and we paid the price for it."
Adrian extended its lead to 2-0 on a goal by Mark Proctor with less than four minutes remaining in the first half.
"The second goal ended up being a bit of a scrum, so we were digging ourselves out of a hole (from that point forward)," Smith said.
Hope put forth a frantic effort in the final 50 seconds of the game, but the Flying Dutchmen never got a chance to put their eighth corner kick of the game into play as the clock ran out.
Adrian outshot Hope 18-13 in the game. McCormick recorded four saves for Hope, who will only graduate one senior in midfielder David White of Vernon Hills, Illinois (Vernon Hills).