by Eva Dean Folkert
Every Hope College women's lacrosse player saw the field and seven different Hope players scored at least one goal in the Flying Dutch's 18-1 victory over Alma College at home on Wednesday.
The win, along with an Adrian College loss, moves Hope into fourth place alone in the MIAA standings with a 4-3 record while being 9-5 overall. The Flying Dutch also clinched a spot in next week's MIAA Tournament. Alma fell to 0-7 in the MIAA and 3-10 overall.
Hope's offense got off to a bit of a slow start in the first half. The Flying Dutch held a slim 2-1 lead over the Scots after close to four minutes of play. But ten minutes later, Hope and sophomore Rachel Elder of Grand Rapids (East Grand Rapids HS), pictured right, began to break the game wide open when the Flying Dutch would score six unanswered goals, three of which came consecutively from Elder in a 12-minute stretch.
The Flying Dutch led at the half, 8-1.
Hope's second-half start was anything but slow. Within 13 seconds of the opening whistle, sophomore Paige Wilmer of Columbus, Ohio (Upper Arlington HS) scored and then she added another goal a minute and 45 seconds later. By the time Elder scored her fourth goal of the game at the 25:56 mark, the score was 11-1 and the game moved onward with a running clock.
Hope dominated every statistical category against Alma. On offense, the Flying Dutch led in shots on goal with 39 to the Scot's eight. In the defensive category of caused turnovers, Hope had 24 — with junior Julianna Burlet of Hinsdale, Illinois (Hinsdale Central HS) accounting for seven — while Alma had 4.
Joining Elder with four goals was sophomore Carly Pieri of Alto (Caledonia HS), pictured left, who has had one assist. Pieri and Elder go one-two as Hope's scoring leaders as they have tallied 38 and 32 goals, respectively, this season.
Also against Alma, sophomore Jane Ragains of Western Springs, Illinois (Lyons Township HS) and freshman Madison McCreery of Rockford (Rockford HS) added three goals each. Sophomore Madison Micho of Grand Rapids (East Grand Rapids HS) led with two assists.
"We challenged our offense to do some new things that we haven't actually done very many times this year," said head coach Kim Vincent. "They responded nicely, especially in the second half."
Hope closes out the MIAA regular season on Saturday, April 27 at home against Trine University at 3:30 p.m. It will be Senior Day for the Flying Dutch. Fans can pick up free team posters after the game.