Hope College men’s soccer kicked off against MIAA opponent Olivet College Saturday, Sept. 23, at Van Andel Stadium. The Dutchmen entered the match coming off an exciting 2-1 overtime win against Albion, looking to improve upon their league record, and improve they did, defeating the Comets soundly in a 5-0 showing.
Hope got started early with a header goal by Christian Dault (’19) off an assist by Ryan Woodside (’19) at the 10:30 mark. The Dutchmen would score twice more by halftime, both goals coming from Jordan Hooker (’19). The first, at the 34:50, was an unassisted goal by Hooker. The second, at 40:05, was a header goal from Hooker, the result of a well-placed corner kick by James Reymann (’19). At halftime, the Dutchmen led the Comets 3-0. Hope didn’t let up in the second half, scoring two more goals. The first came from David White (’18) off an assist from Reymann at 56:00. The second came from Holden Dippel (’20) off a corner kick from Dalton Bruso at 61:37. The five-goal showing for the Dutchmen represented their best offensive effort in a game so far this season. The Hope offense performed undeniably well, delivering focused and precise play that led them to net half of their 10 total shots on goal.
The Dutchmen defense looked stellar as well in Saturday’s match, allowing just one shot on goal and exhausting three different Olivet goalies throughout the game. This gritty defense was instrumental in allowing the offense to perform as well as it did.
The youthful Dutchmen squad has faced plenty of adversity in the past few seasons, but commanding wins like this indicate a promising future. Midfielder Ben Hagman (’19) said “This is a big win moving forward. We needed a win, of course, but putting up five goals with a clean sheet is something that adds an extra level of motivation. At this point, we know the type, as well as the level of soccer that we are capable of playing. A complete performance like Saturday night is the new standard for every single game.”
The Dutchmen will face a test of Hagman’s predictions this coming week. With the win over Olivet, Hope moves to 4-4 overall and 3-1 in the MIAA. The Dutchmen will face two more league opponents this week, first traveling down to Trine on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 4 p.m., and then meeting Alma at home on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m.