by Alan Babbitt
Logan Bylsma's deflected shot off the breakaway squirted past the opposing goalkeeper and kept rolling.
By the time the soccer ball stopped, it had trickled over the goal line just inside the left goal post and the Hope College men's soccer team finally secured a 2-0 victory against Albion College on Saturday night at Van Andel Soccer Stadium.
The Flying Dutchmen (10-5 overall) remained in sole possession of second place in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association standings with a 3-1 league record.
"We always needed a second goal," head coach Dave Brandt said. "The second goal was huge. We had some clear, clear, clear chances much earlier to put it away, but we didn't. We kept the game really tight."
Bylsma scored with 7 minutes, 24 seconds remaining in regulation. The senior forward from Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville) recorded his eighth goal of the season and rejoined Alec Belcastro for the team scoring lead.
Hope outshot Albion by a 13-2 margin and earned six corner kicks to the Britons' three.
The Flying Dutchmen grabbed a 1-0 lead with 2:55 remaining on the first half. Senior midfielder Isaac Braak set up junior midfielder Ty Dalton of Rockford, Michigan (Rockford) with a cross. It was Dalton's third goal of the season.
The shutout was Hope's third in a row and ninth of the season.
Goalie Blair McCormick of Wadsworth, Illinois (Warren Township) made one save for the Flying Dutchmen.
"I thought we had a little of a nervy start. We had a center-back go down and had to make a change there very early in the game," Brandt said. "It took us about 15 minutes to settle down. Once we settled down, we executed the game plan."
Hope's next match is Tuesday, October 22 at 3:45 p.m. at Alma College.