by Eva Dean Folkert
Twelve Hope women's soccer seniors were recognized at the start of their game on Tuesday for Senior Night. Two of those seniors ended the evening 107 minutes of play later, giving the entire Hope side another reason to celebrate.
In the second overtime at Van Andel Soccer Stadium, Hope broke a previous 0-0 tie and defeated Albion College, 1-0, lifting its record to 6-0-1 in the MIAA and maintaining its first-placing league standing. The No. 18-ranked Flying Dutch are 12-1-2 overall.
Hope dominated offensively for the entirety of the game, taking 29 shots overall and putting four shots on goal in each half and in the first overtime for a total of 12. Albion had three shots total, one of them on goal in the first half.
Hope's second-overtime chance to score came with just 2:24 to go in the game and developed on a right-side crossing pass from long-time teammates senior Grace Bubin of Rockford (Rockford HS), pictured right, to senior Rylie Dalton of Rockford (Rockford HS), pictured left.
"Grace and I have been playing together for 17 years," said Dalton. "We have that connection, which is really cool. So, when I saw her dribbling down the end line, I picked my head up and saw she was looking for me for the cross."
Dalton sprinted to the box, collected the Bubin pass with her back to the Albion goal and an Albion defender tight to her side, made a quick turn and fired the left-footed shot to the right corner of the goal for the lone score at the 107:36 mark.
The deciding goal was Dalton's second in the last three days as her lone goal also determined the 1-0 Hope win at Adrian on Saturday. She now has five goals on the season while Bubin has distributed four assists.
"The good thing for us was we played until the absolute end," said head coach Leigh Sears. "We just kept fighting. And good for the seniors. They pulled it out."
Hope is on the road now for the rest of the regular season. The Flying Dutch play at Saint Mary's College (Indiana) on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 12 p.m. and then travel to Alma College on Wednesday, October 24 for a 4:00 p.m. game.