Oct 14, 2017
The Hope College women's soccer team avenged its only loss of the season with a 2-0 victory over Kalamazoo College on a rainy Saturday at Van Andel Soccer Stadium.
Coach Leigh Sears and the Flying Dutch lead the MIAA with a 10-1-1 (12-1-1 overall). Kalamazoo is 8-4 in the league (9-7 overall) and stands in second place.
The Flying Dutch's lone loss came against Kalamazoo back on September 17 when the Hornets scored the game's only and winning goal in the final minute of regulation. This time, Hope dominated much of the game, especially in the first half, leading in shots (17-10), shots on goal (6-5), and corners (4-1).
"We knew this was a huge game. We needed the three points, and we wanted to beat the team that beat us," said Leigh Sears, Hope's head coach. "We just told them to start fast and put it away early… Last time we got burned in the last 30 seconds of the game, so this time we wanted to put it away and not even let it be an issue at the end."
In the first half at the 32:07 mark, senior Allie Wittenbach of Ada, Michigan (Forest Hills Central HS) took a shot on goal that was deflected by a Kalamazoo player into the bottom left corner of the net, scoring it as an own goal.
Seven minutes, 15 seconds into the second half, a right-side, 18-yard strike from Erin Brophy of West Lafayette, Indiana (West Lafayette), pictured, off an nice slotted assist from freshman Megan Bigelow of Flushing, Michigan (Flushing) gave the game its final 2-0 score.
The victory was Hope's 11th shutout win of the season, 10 of them by freshman goalie Jordanne Ellingboe of Grand Haven, Michigan (Grand Haven), who had five saves in this game.
Ellingboe and the Hope defense have allowed only two goals in league play.
"Our defense is just solid," Sears said. "They play so well together."
The Flying Dutch play Calvin College next in Grand Rapids on Wednesday, October 18 at 7:00 pm. As ever, that rivalry game carries with it necessity and emotion. Calvin is fourth in the league (7-4).
"Since Calvin plays on grass and we predominately play on artificial turf, we'll be prepping more on our grass for that big game this week, I'm sure," Brophy said. "We'll be ready to go."