by Eva Dean Folkert
Right from the start on Wednesday night, the #15 Hope College women's soccer team had host and #3 University of Chicago on the run. In a rematch between two teams who met in the second round of last year's NCAA championship, the Flying Dutch were determined not to let the sting of a 4-0 tournament defeat to the Maroons in 2017 linger.
Instead, Hope junior Abbey Przekop of Novi (Mercy HS), pictured, scored an unassisted goal from the weak side at the 6:43 mark of the first half, her first of the season, and the Flying Dutch were off to an inspired 1-0 start.
But the Maroons didn't waste much time getting on the scoreboard either. By 15:28 in that same half, the score was tied, 1-1, when UChicago's Jenna McKinney scored off of assists by Sydney Mathis and Maddie DeVoe.
For the next 95 minutes of play (75 of regulation and 20 in two overtimes), the two nationally respected programs held each other scoreless, and the match ended in a 1-1 tie.
"We had our chances and they had their chances," said head coach Leigh Sears. "That game really could have gone either way. It was just a really good game."
UChicago outshot Hope in each half — 7-2 in the first and 9-4 in the second. But in the two overtimes, the Flying Dutch held the advantage on shots, 6-3. "We actually got stronger as it went," Sears said.
Sophomore keeper Jordanne Ellingboe of Grand Haven (Grand Haven HS) recorded five saves in goal.
"This year we really believe we can play with anybody," Sears ended. "And we came out thinking we could win. And we played so hard. We just play so hard. After the game we told (our team), '(UChicago) could have won, we could have won. And yeah, we wanted to win, but this is a great result for us. I'll take the tie over a loss any day against a team like that.'"
The Flying Dutch play next against Capital (Ohio) University at home on Saturday, September 15 at 12 p.m. Theirs is the first match of the Purple Community doubleheader which benefits the Van Andel Institute, a world-renowned cancer and neurodegenerative research and science education center in Grand Rapids.