The Hope College soccer team went into Homecoming Weekend with one mission— retribution. The Flying Dutch kicked off this Saturday, Oct. 14, against Kalamazoo College. The Hornets had handed the Dutch their only loss of their otherwise stellar season exactly one month earlier on Sept. 14, when Hope visited Kalamazoo on the road. The excitement of Saturday’s rainy Homecoming festivities set the stage for an intense rematch between the top two teams in the MIAA.
The Dutch did not disappoint. The team acted fast and early to swing the momentum of the game in their favor, and shut- out the Hornets 2-0 in the rain. Allie Wittenbach (’18) struck first for Hope, with her shot on goal mishandled by the defense to result in a score for Hope with 32:07 remaining in the first half. The second goal for the Dutch came from Erin Brophy (’18) with an assist from Megan Bigelow (’21), after halftime, with 37:45 to play. Hope alumni and community members witnessed a impressive and cohesive effort by the Dutch, who have continually proved, to both fans and skeptics, that they were the correct selection for conference champions in the MIAA coach’s poll this past summer.
Hope’s commitment to an aggressive and commanding offensive style continued to play to its strengths, attempting 17 shots, six on goal and earning four corner kicks throughout the course of play. The diversity of threats within Hope’s offensive game continues to confuse the competition. Both Brophy and Wittenbach move to four goals on the season following the Kalamazoo win.
Additionally, the unmovable Hope defense has acted as the cornerstone of Hope’s game plan this year. The Kalamazoo victory represents the eleventh shutout of the year for the stellar squad, led by young goalie Jordanne Ellingboe (’21) who earned the MIAA Defensive Player of the Week for her play the week of Oct. 9 during which she made 11 saves. Against Kalamazoo, the defense allowed 10 shots, five of them on goal, and had four saves. This swift and efficient defense has provided the base upon which Hope’s offense has been able to shine this season.
Having avenged their one loss of the season, Hope advances to 12-1-1 on the year, 10-1 in the conference. The Dutch will now turn their eyes toward to the rest of the regular season while keeping in mind the upcoming MIAA championship. Calvin College will be the next test for the Dutch, as they head to Grand Rapids today at 7 p.m. Calvin is positioned at fourth in the league with an MIAA record of 7-4.