By Greg Chandler
A stirring second-half comeback by the Hope College women's lacrosse team came up just short Saturday, as the Flying Dutch dropped a 10-7 decision to visiting Albion College at Van Andel Soccer Stadium in their final regular-season home game.
The Senior Day loss dropped Hope to 3-3 in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association play and 6-6 overall, while Albion improved to 6-1 in the MIAA and 10-4 overall. Hope currently is holding onto fourth place in the conference standings.
Trailing 7-2 at the half, Hope stormed back in the second half with five unanswered goals to tie the game. Senior Erin Caton of Rochester Hills, Michigan (Pontiac Notre Dame Prep HS) started the rally with a goal off a free position opportunity just past the five-minute mark. Freshman Carly Pieri of Alto, Michigan (Caledonia HS) struck for two goals in a span of 79 seconds to cut the Britons' lead to 7-5 with 18:43 remaining.
Then with Albion a player down because of a yellow card, freshman Rachel Elder of Grand Rapids, Michigan (East Grand Rapids) scored off a feed from senior Emily Deane of Rochester Hills, Michigan (Rochester Adams) to trim the lead to one goal.
Then Caton struck again, scoring an unassisted goal with 12:50 remaining to tie the game at 7-7.
However, Hope would not score again. Albion's Darcy Muns scored 48 seconds later to give the Britons the lead back, and Albion tacked on two insurance goals to seal the win.
The Britons dominated the first half, as senior Cait Gaitley scored five goals that led to their 7-2 halftime edge. Hope's only goals in the first 30 minutes were scored by Elder and freshman Jane Ragains of Western Springs, Illinois (Lyons Township).
Hope won 12 of 19 draw controls in the game and caused 28 Albion turnovers. The Flying Dutch also outshot Albion 25-22. Freshman Laurel Frederickson of Alto, Michigan (Lowell) made five saves in goal.
Prior to the game, Hope honored its three seniors: Caton, Deane and defender Amie Hixon of Eagle, Colorado (Vail Christian).