by Alan Babbitt
In her first match with the Hope College women's lacrosse team, Sophie Ackerman helped make the debut for head coach Keagan Pontious a victorious one.
Ackerman, pictured, scored twice and assisted on another goal during the first seven-and-a-half minutes as the Flying Dutch jumped to an early commanding lead against Cleary University on Friday.
Hope never trailed en route to a 20-10, season-opening victory at the Legacy Sports Center in Brighton.
Ackerman finished with three goals and one assist. The sophomore attacker from East Grand Rapids, Michigan (East Grand Rapids HS) was one of six multiple goal-scorers for the Flying Dutch and eight goal scorers overall.
After Ackerman struck for her first goal 32 seconds into the game, she assisted on Madison McCreery's goal 41 seconds later.
Ackerman capped a 6-0 start 5 ½ minutes later by scoring off an assist from junior midfielder Madison Micho of Grand Rapids, Michigan (East Grand Rapids).
Hope went on to lead 13-3 at halftime.
McCreery, a sophomore midfielder from Rockford, Michigan (Rockford), recorded a four-goal game to share team-high honors with junior attacker Rachel Elder of Grand Rapids, Michigan (East Grand Rapids).
Junior midfielder Carly Pieri of Alto, Michigan (Caledonia) chipped in three goals and an assist.
Hope received two goals and an assist apiece from Micho and junior defender Caroline Milholland of Midland, MIchigan (H.H. Dow).
Sophomore goalie Helen Holt of Myersville, Maryland (Middletown) made four saves for the Flying Dutch.
Hope's next match is Saturday, February 22 at Oberlin College (Ohio) at 11 a.m.