There was alot to celebrate Thursday as the Flying Dutch concluded the regular season with an 8-0 shutout of visiting Albion. The victory advances coach Leigh Sears' Flying Dutch to the four-team conference tournament as the third-seed. The win also gave Hope an undefeated home field record (8-0-1) this season.
Hope ties for second place with Alma in the final MIAA regular season standings at 10-4-2 behind champion Calvin (12-3-1). The Flying Dutch (13-5-2) will meet Alma (13-5-2) at 1 p.m. Friday in a semi-final match of the conference tournament being hosted by Calvin. The other semi-final game will pit Calvin (13-4-1) against Adrian (12-3-4). The winners will play Saturday for the right to compete in the NCAA Division III championships.
The Flying Dutch dominated the field of play against the winless Albion Britons (0-18-2) behind a 41-4 advantage in shots, including 20-2 on-goal. Hope scored four goals in each half. Scoring two apiece were Tricia Bajema and Lindsay Jipping. Adding one each were Lindsey Bieri, Raisa Yewah, Kristin Hazlett, and Kristina Bosch. Goalkeepers Megan Altieri and Kat Dickson combined for Hope's ninth shutout of the season.
The championship of MIAA women's soccer will be on the line Saturday thanks to a prolonged victory by the Flying Dutch on Thursday and an overtime loss by rival Calvin. Coach Leigh Sears' Flying Dutch blanked Saint Mary's 2-0 in a game that went long into the night because approaching thunderstorms caused officials to stop play and empty Van Andel Stadium. Hope led 2-0 when play stopped with 32 minutes remaining in the game. Nearly two hours later, and playing in rain and high wind, the Dutch prevailed by the 2-0 margin. Rival Calvin, meanwhile, had lost 2-1 in overtime to Kalamazoo.
The result is that Saturday's Hope at Calvin noontime match will have MIAA title implications. The Knights are atop the standings with a 10-3-1 league record (31 points) while the Flying Dutch have 29 points behind a 9-3-2 mark. The standings are based on a point system with three points going to the winner. There are two games remaining in the regular season.
The Flying Dutch remained unbeaten at home behind a pair of first half goals, the first was unassisted by Tricia Bajema in the 35th minute and the second came less than two minutes later by Raisa Yewah assisted by Lindsey Bieri. Goalkeeper Megan Altieri recorded her ninth shutout of the season with three saves. Improving to 12-4-2 on the season, the Flying Dutch are 7-0-1 at Van Andel.
Hope gained sole possession of second place in the MIAA race with their third consecutive shutout victory. Overcoming rain and wind, the game-winner came in the 83rd minute by Erin Jipping off a break-away pass from Raisa Yewah. Calvin tops the MIAA standings at 8-2 while Hope is 8-3-1. With five victories in their last seven games, coach Leigh Sears' Dutch are 11-4-1 overall. Hope held an 11-10 edge in shots, including 3-2 on-goal. Goalkeeper Megan Altieri was credited with her seventh shutout of the season.
Megan Altieri, a senior from Bay Village, Ohio (Bay HS), is the Defensive Player of the Week. Hope's goalkeeper, she allowed only one goal while playing every minute of all three games for the week as the Flying Dutch posted a 2-0-1 record in MIAA play. She made eight saves under tough wet conditions in a 1-0 win over Olivet, shut out Trine 2-0 and made four saves in a 1-1 tie with Kalamazoo. She has six shutouts this season. Altieri is being honored for the first time in her career.
Junior Katie Gabriel scored her first goal of the season in the 73rd minute as the Flying Dutch eeked out a 1-0 victory over Olivet on Saturday. Coach Leigh Sears' Dutch gained sole possession of third place in the MIAA standings (7-3-1) and are 10-4-1 overall. Goalkeeper Megan Altieri recored her fourth shutout of the season.
Senior Tricia Bajema scored her first and second goals of the season in leading the Flying Dutch to a 2-0 victory over host Trine on Thursday. Coach Leigh Sears' Dutch are in fifth place in the MIAA standings, but only four points behind league-leading Alma. The Flying Dutch are 6-3-1 in league games and 9-4-1 overall.
The teams played through a scoreless first half. Bajema put Hope on the scoreboard in the 71st minute off an assist from Lindsey Bieri. She made it a two-goal game in the 86th minute with an assist credited to Kristina Bosch. Hope held a 15-2 advantage in shots. Trine did not have a shot on-goal as goalkeeper Megan Altieri was credited with her third shutout of the season.