by Alan Babbitt
The Hope College men's soccer team earned a healthy advantage in shots against Alma College on Wednesday.
The Flying Dutchmen converted enough of them to claim a 4-0 victory on a rainy night at Van Andel Soccer Stadium.
After a match against a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association rival that did not count toward the league standings, Hope improved its overall record to 7-4.
Four different goal scorers powered the Flying Dutchmen, who outshot Alma by a 29-7 margin.
Photo by Lynne Powe
Sophomore midfielder Ryan Flynn of Bloomington, Illinois (Bloomington HS) opened the scoring 13 minutes, 25 seconds into the first half with a right-footed blast from 25 yards out. It was Flynn's third goal of the season. Freshman midfielder Nic Kubert of Rochester Hills, Michigan (Avondale) registered the assist.
Nearly nine minutes later, Kubert set up sophomore forward Alec Belcastro of Washington, Pennsylvania (Kiski School) for another blast and a 2-0 lead. It was Belcastro's sixth goal of the season and Kubert's fifth assist.
In the 40th minute, Hope extended its lead to 3-0 when junior midfielder Ty Dalton of Rockford, Michigan (Rockford) netted his first goal of the season.
The Flying Dutchmen outshot Alma, 17-1, during the first half.
Despite the significant edge in shots, Hope struggled to get more scoring opportunities on net.
Alma goalie Garrison Mast made eight saves for the match — five more than Hope counterpart Blair McCormick.
"We were sharp in the first half. We weren't sharp in the second half," head coach Dave Brandt said. "We need to convert our chances."
The Flying Dutchmen closed the scoring with two seconds remaining in the second half. Sophomore midfielder Griffin Bruso of Bloomington, Illinois (Normal Community) recorded his second goal of the season off an assist from Belcastro.
The shutout was Hope's sixth of the season.
The Flying Dutchmen's next match is the MIAA opener on Tuesday, October 8 at 7 p.m. against Calvin College at Van Andel Soccer Stadium.