2018 Hope College Women's Soccer Preview By Alan Babbitt

2018 At A Glance

  • Roster size: 30
  • Returning letterwinners: 19
  • 2018 MIAA Preseason Poll: First
  • Fast facts: The Flying Dutch are seeking their third consecutive MIAA championship and fourth in five seasons. They were outright champions in 2017 and 2014 and shared the league title in 2016. Hope reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2018 before finishing with a school-record 19 wins. The Flying Dutch shut out 13 oppontents and outscored foes 64-17 last season.
“We graduated our two outside forwards, and they were big. They had four years of experience. They set a lot of people up. We’re learning to do it in different ways and still trying to find the right combinations. We’re trying to feel things out right now and which group of people work together best.” - head coach Leigh Sears
The Flying Dutch won a school-record 19 games last season.

2018 Roster

The Flying Dutch are led by a senior class of 12. There are three juniors, eight sophomores, and six freshman on this season’s roster. Three returning players claimed all-league recognition in 2017: first-team forward Grace Bubin, second-team midfielder Rylie Dalton, and second-team goalie Jordanne Ellingboe.

Key Returners

  • Senior forward Grace Bubin netted a career-high 11 goals last season as a junior to top the Flying Dutch. She also recorded a career-high five assists en route to all-region and All-MIAA First Team honors.
  • Senior midfielder Rylie Dalton finished second in scoring for Hope during the 2017 season with a career-high eight goals and five assists. She has 18 career goals.
  • Sophomore goalie Jordanne Ellingboe had a sensational freshman campaign last season — posting 17 wins while allowing only 10 goals in 1,838 minutes of action.
“Our team is super close. We spent a lot of time this summer working out together, hanging out together. It’s exciting we already have this chemistry. We know what it takes to win.” - senior defender Morgan Buursma

2018 Coaching Staff

Head Coach Leigh Sears

Over 17 seasons, Dr. Leigh Sears has become Hope's winningest women's soccer coach with a 210-108-24 overall record. She has guided the Flying Dutch to four MIAA championships and four appearances in the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Assistant Coaches

Megan Bigelow

By The Numbers

  • 64. Goals scored by the Flying Dutch last season.
  • 17. Goals allowed by the Flying Dutch last season.
  • 14. MIAA regular-season wins for the Flying Dutch in 16 tries last season.
  • 13. Shutouts by the Flying Dutch last season, including 10 by freshman goalie Jordanne Ellingboe herself - tied for fourth-most in team history.
  • 11. Goals tallied by leading scorer Grace Bubin last season. She tied for 11th most all-time by a member of the Flying Dutch.
Grace Bubin

2018 Schedule

The Flying Dutch kick off the 2018 season with two matches Labor Day weekend against opponents who also reached the NCAA Tournament in 2017. Hope plays at Illinois Wesleyan on Friday, September 31 and then Ohio Northern on Saturday, September 1 at Illinois Wesleyan.

Hope’s first home match is Saturday, September 15 against Capital, Ohio. The Flying Dutch play six times at Van Andel Soccer Stadium this season. A change in scheduling for MIAA matches brings only four home league matches this season.

“We’re playing a tougher schedule. Our goal is to prep for conference play, where you can win and get into the NCAA Tournament.” - head coach Leigh Sears
Van Andel Soccer Stadium

Purple Community Game

The Flying Dutch are taking part in a Purple Community doubleheader with the Hope College women’s soccer team on Saturday, September 15 to support Van Andel Institute’s research and science education efforts. They will face Capital, Ohio in a noon match that is followed by the men's match at 2:30 p.m.

2018 Flying Dutch
Created By
Alan Babbitt


Tom Renner and Steven Herppich

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