Though outshot by an opponent who also earned more corner kicks, the Hope College men's soccer team capitalized on offense when it mattered most against Kalamazoo College on Saturday night.
In the game's 68th minute, senior forward Logan Bylsma of Hudsonville (Hudsonville HS) fed an assist to sophomore forward Alec Belcastro, pictured, of Washington, Penn. (Kiski School) who scored the game's only goal as the Flying Dutchmen downed the Hornets, 1-0.
The goal was Belcastro's eighth of the season while Bylsma recorded his fifth assist.
Head coach Dave Brandt said his team exploited one of its few scoring opportunities.
"It was a hard-fought conference game. We did not have many moments of quality tonight in my opinion, but the goal was a real moment of quality," Brandt said. "Isaac (Braak), Logan and Alec combined for four, five passes between the three of them. Logan put Alec through behind the defense just perfectly. Alec finished."
Kalamazoo outshot Hope, 14-8, and had more corners too, 7-2.
Hope did lead in shots on goal, however, 3-2.
Senior goalie Blair McCormick of Wadsworth, Ill. (Warren Township HS) recorded his seventh shutout this year.
"I thought we struggled tonight in a number of ways, and at times we struggled defensively as well," Brandt said. "Much better second half defensively. I thought the second half finally our back four sharp and solid. It was too shaky in the first half. It took us a half to get going tonight."
The win evened Hope's league record to 1-1 with an 8-5 overall mark. Kalamazoo is 0-1-1 in the MIAA and 6-2-2 overall.
The Flying Dutchmen travel to Olivet College to play next on Wednesday, October 16 at 3:00 p.m.