by Alan Babbitt
Rylie Dalton didn't waste one of the precious scoring opportunities the 17th-ranked Hope College women's soccer team could produce against a stingy opponent on Saturday.
The senior from Rockford, Michigan (Rockford HS) buried a loose ball off a second-half corner kick for the game-winning goal in a 1-0 win at first-place Adrian College.
The Flying Dutch (10-1-2 overall) moved into first place in the MIAA standings with a 4-0-1 league record. They are one point ahead of second-place Adrian and Albion College, who both own 4-1 league records.
Dalton, pictured, recorded her fourth goal of the season with 8 minutes, 51 seconds remaining in regulation. It came on Hope's sixth shot on goal during the second half.
"We got a corner. The ball bounced around, and Rylie jacked it top corner," head coach Leigh Sears said. "It was a screamer. It was a really good shot."
The decisive goal resulted from increased pressure Hope put on a physical and well-organized Adrian defense after halftime.
The Flying Dutch outshot Adrian 10-0 during the second half and 16-3 for the match.
"Adrian is a young team, but they play hard," Sears said. "In the second half, we got a little mad. We played hard and took it up a notch. We were more dangerous in the second half. You could feel a goal was coming. I knew it was going to be a one-goal game."
The shutout was the eighth of the season for Hope and sophomore goalie Jordanne Ellingboe of Grand Haven, Michigan (Grand Haven). Ellingboe finished with two saves.
The Flying Dutch's next match is Tuesday at 7 p.m. against Albion at Van Andel Soccer Stadium. It is Senior Night.