by Alan Babbitt
Three Hope College men's soccer players scored their first goals of the season as the Flying Dutchmen charged to a 5-1 victory against visiting Cleary University on Wednesday.
Hope, under first-year head coach Dave Brandt, improved to 5-0 to start a season for the first time since 2002.
The Flying Dutchmen jumped out to a 3-0 halftime lead.
Braak, a junior from Grand Haven, Michigan (Grand Haven HS), set up senior James Reyman of Columbus, Ohio (Worthington Kilbourne) for a 1-0 lead 4 minutes, 57 seconds into the match. It was Reymann's team-leading fourth goal of the season.
Junior Logan Bylsma of Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville) matched Reymann with his fourth goal of the season 10 ½ minutes later to extend Hope's lead. Sophomore Connor Fowler of Victoria, Minnesota (Holy Family Catholic) registered the assist.
Ten minutes before halftime, Hooker, a junior from Grand Rapids, Michigan (East Grand Rapids) HS), converted a pass from Flynn for a breakaway goal and a 3-0 lead.
After the break, Braak buried a carom off a deflected shot from senior Christian Dault of Grand Haven, Michigan (Grand Haven) for Hope's fourth goal three minutes into the second half.
Flynn, a freshman from Bloomington, Illinois (Bloomington), pushed Hope's lead to 5-0 off an assist from Hooker.
Cleary (1-2-1 overall) spoiled the Flying Dutchmen's shutout bid on a Johnny Cabral goal with 5 ½ minutes remaining.
Hope returns to action on Saturday, September 15 with a 2:30 p.m. Purple Community match against Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (Indiana) at Van Andel Soccer Stadium. All proceeds from the event, which includes a women's soccer game at noon, benefit the Van Andel Institute research and science education efforts and help a Hope student have an internship at the world-renowned organization.