Suddenly tied, down a player because of a yellow card, and on defense after losing the draw control, the Hope College women's lacrosse team appeared in trouble.
Momentum marched in full step with the visiting Britons of Albion College with only 70 seconds remaining.
But with the flick of a stick, the Flying Dutch changed their destiny and claimed a thrilling 13-12 victory on Tuesday night at Van Andel Soccer Stadium. Alexandra Webb scored a man-down, go-ahead goal with 41 seconds remaining to clinch a spot in next week's Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament.
Hope (7-5 overall, 5-1 MIAA) will play for the No. 2 seed in the league tournament on Thursday at Saint Mary's (8-6, 5-1).
The Flying Dutch eliminated the last team from MIAA Tournament contention — Albion (4-9, 3-4 MIAA) — with their dramatic turnaround.
Albion pulled even with 3 minute, 9 seconds remaining in regulation on Cait Gaitley's 49th goal of the season. The Britons had scored five consecutive goals over 10-minute span.
With 1 ½ minutes left, the Flying Dutch went down a player after their leading goalscorer, senior Dana Kym of Libertyville, Illinois (Libertyville HS), was flagged for dangerous propelling of her stick in her offensive zone.
But as Albion approached midfield following the restart, sophomore Madeline Shupe of Hinsdale, Illinois (Central) caused a turnover. Junior Erin Caton of Rochester Hills, Michigan (Pontiac Notre Dame Prep) scooped up the groundball.
In less than 20 seconds, Hope pushed the ball to Kym. The senior from Woodland Hills, California (Calabasas) delivered her fourth goal of the game and the 27th goal of the season with 41 seconds remaining.
Hope held off one last charge from the Britons to equal their most wins in a varsity season and stay within one game of first-place Calvin. The Knights clinched the top seed and a share of the MIAA title with a win at Adrian Tuesday.
Kym's five goals topped the Flying Dutch. She now has 32 goals — sixth-most in Flying Dutch history.
Webb also recorded an assist. She has 13 assists — second to Caton's school-record 16.
Hope plays at Saint Mary's Thursday at 6 p.m.