by Alan Babbitt
Two quick strikes gave the Hope College men's soccer team an early jump on a nationally ranked opponent.
Unfortunately for the Flying Dutchmen, the University of Chicago responded to the challenge and rallied for a 3-2 double-overtime victory on Tuesday to spoil Hope's home opener.
Chicago, ranked seventh in the latest United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division III poll, scored late in each half to pull even, then struck again 2 ½ minutes into the second overtime on Ben Brandt's first goal of the season.
The non-league loss dropped the Flying Dutchmen to 3-2 on the season.
While the outcome wasn't what was desired, Hope coach Dave Brandt expressed pride in his team's resilience against the nationally ranked foe.
"It's disappointing any way you cut it. We didn't come for a tie, or to lose obviously," head coach Dave Brandt said. "That being said, it's the first time since I got here that we showed the steel and mettle of a team that really wanted to win in a tough game. I think Chicago is an elite D-III team. We can use that moving forward."
The Flying Dutchmen grabbed a 2-0 lead on Chicago by scoring twice in the first five minutes of the match.
Sophomore midfielder Ryan Flynn of Bloomington, Illinois (Bloomington) blasted a right-footed shot from 35 yards out that ripped over the head of the Chicago keeper. Flynn's second goal of the season — which came 4:23 into the match — received an assist from sophomore midfielder Brett Dyer of Northport, Michigan (Northport).
Thirty-two seconds later, Hope converted on a Chicago turnover with a quick counter. Freshman Nic Kubert of Rochester Hills, Michigan (Avondale) pounced a slip by the Chicago keeper to tuck into a second inside the right post. Senior midfielder Isaac Braak of Grand Haven, Michigan (Grand Haven) collected the assist.
Hope's two-goal lead stood up until 13 seconds left in the first half when Vicente Mateus buried a free kick into the top right of the Flying Dutchmen goal.
Chicago tied the score with 1:23 remaining in regulation on Scott Lich's goal following sustained pressure by the Maroons. Hope goalie Blair McCormick of Wadsworth, Illinois (Warren Township) made two point-blank saves earlier in the second half.
Chicago outshot the Flying Dutchmen, 16-11. Hope was limited to five shots during the second half and overtime after totaling six during the first half.
McCormick finished with five saves.