ADRIAN, Mich. – It was a highly anticipated early season showdown on Thursday between two strong MIAA women's soccer programs as Adrian made a valiant comeback attempt but fell 2-1 to Hope College. Adrian had enjoyed a good deal of success against the Flying Dutch having won seven of the last eight meetings, but it was two first-half goals by Hope that ended up holding up and improving them to 5-0, 2-0 MIAA. The Bulldogs had a three-match win streak snapped and are now 3-2, 1-1 MIAA.
The biggest factor in this one seemed to be the team going with the wind which gusted up to 25 miles per hour. Hope had that advantage in the first half and notched a pair of goals to take a 2-0 lead into the locker room. Nora Kirk scored her fourth of the season on a header off a corner kick at 15:04. Maria DeShaw delivered a perfect ball into the box and Kirk was unmarked and made Adrian pay from about eight yards past a diving Lexi Lewandowski for Adrian.
Hope kept the pressure on and scored at 26:50 as Kristina Bosch subbed in and scored her second of the season from Kirk. The ball seemed to be misplayed in the 18-yard area and Bosch tapped it past Lewandowski who could not recover. Hope scored on their first two shots on goal in the match and ended the first half with a 3-1 edge in shots on goal. Sam Barker's shot at 43:28 from the left wing was the lone shot for Adrian on net in the first 45 minutes.
"I thought it was a well-played, tight matchup as you'd expect from two regionally ranked teams," said head coach Ali Alamdari. "Front to back, this is probably the most talented Hope team that I've seen in eight years in the MIAA, so I want to make sure we give them credit for finishing the chances they had early in the game. For us, we have to look at it as a lesson that we can't make early mental mistakes and force ourselves to chase a game that we should control."
Adrian wasted no time cutting the lead in half as Sophie Rammal scored just 1:13 into the second half waiting for just the right moment to break past the line of Hope defenders. Rammal's first of the season from Barker came from around 15 yards into the lower right corner past Kat Dickson. From there it was Adrian who kept putting themselves into position to tie the score but they could not get the equalizer. Erin Weide had a shot from close right wing which Dickson made a nice save on just 1:30 after the Adrian goal.
Carmina Lizyness nearly tied the match at the 73:03 mark when her shot hit the right post as Dickson dove and could not get a piece of the ball. Aly Masciovecchio later in the match at the 83:18 mark had a free kick opportunity from around 30 yards and just served the ball over the crossbar. Alanna Chambry had a quick turning shot after Dickson ventured outside the 18-yard area but the keeper recovered in time to make the save with 2:07 remaining in the match.
"I was impressed with the play of our midfield, in particular I thought Sophie Rammal was outstanding," commented Alamdari. "It was clear that she had a mentality that she was going to be a presence in the middle, and the goal she scored was a representation of her work throughout the match."
Adrian had 13 total shots with six on goal, while Hope registered 11 shots and seven on net. The Hope reserves had four of those shots on goal while six different Bulldogs took a shot on goal. The Bulldogs will next host Albion College at noon on Saturday in a match that was moved to Adrian due to severe weather that brought some damage to the Albion campus.