by Eva Dean Folkert
A frustrating first half gave way to a satisfying second half when the Hope College women's soccer team opened up a 10-minute scoring deluge on a rainy night in Van Andel Soccer Stadium. After a scoreless first 45 minutes, the Flying Dutch scored four goals from 61:08 to 71:34 to defeat the Trine Thunder, 4-0.
The win lifts No. 17-ranked Hope to 3-0-1 in the MIAA and 9-1-2 overall. Trine drops to 3-10-1 overall and 0-4-1 in the league.
Soggy, sleek turf — along with a defensively-focused opponent — dampened the Flying Dutch's chances in the first half. Trine packed its backfield with at least 10 players most of the game, giving the Flying Dutch fits to get around them. Hope adjusted after halftime, though, by delivering early service on the ball toward the Thunder's goal.
"You can't carry the ball through that many people," said head coach Leigh Sears of her team's first-half tendency at attempting to penetrate the Trine defense. "So we got our heads up, played the big ball across the goal, and that's when we started finishing. That opened up what we like to do which is take the ball end line."
Hope's first score developed after a 25-yard right-side shot by senior Grace Bubin of Rockford (Rockford HS), pictured left, was deflected by Trine goalkeeper, Ahdrin Bordner, and hustling senior Rachael Braginton of Grandville (Grandville) scrambled to chip in the rebound for the score. The goal was Braginton's fifth of the season.
A little more than five minutes later, senior Hilary Curry of Grand Rapids (Calvin Christian) sent a strong left-side, left-footed shot into the opposite top corner of the goal. Bubin again delivered a long crossing pass for the assist. It was Curry's sixth score this season.
Three minutes after that, Bubin wouldn't be done with her assisting ways. After hustling hard to chase down a ball about to reach the end line, the senior made a cross directly in front of the goal. Again, Trine's keeper Bordner rushed out to grab the attempt but deflected it. This time junior Abbey Przekop, pictured right, laid in wait and knocked in Hope's third goal of the night at the 69:45 mark.
Bubin's three assists, her first of the season, set a Van Andel Soccer Stadium record for the most assists in one game by a Flying Dutch player.
Przekop finished Hope's scoring run after another two minutes of play with an unassisted goal. The junior from Novi (Mercy) intercepted a soft defensive Trine pass, dribbled a few yards, and then directed a clear shot on goal. The score was Przekop's second of the game and third of this season.
Hope's defense held Trine to just one shot overall and on goal. The Flying Dutch took 27 shots, with 17 on goal. The Flying Dutch dominated in corner kicks too, 9-3.
Hope plays next on Saturday, Oct. 13 at MIAA-leader Adrian College, which is 4-0 in league play. Kickoff is at 12 p.m.