2019 Hope College Women's Soccer Preview Take a Look at the Upcoming Season

Pictured above: Hope senior Megan Bigelow outmaneuvers her opponent.

2019 At A Glance

  • Roster size: 25
  • Returners: 18
  • Captains: Seniors Megan Bigelow and Sarah McCoy, juniors Maria Egloff and Audrey White
  • 2019 MIAA Preseason Poll: First
  • 2019 NCAA Preseason Poll: 15th
  • 2018 Regular Season Recap: Hope claimed its third consecutive MIAA championship with an undefeated league record (7-0-1) in 2018 while going 16-3-2 overall.
  • 2018 MIAA Tournament Recap: As regular season champs, the Flying Dutch earned top seed in the league tournament and hosted a semifinal and then the final. Hope posted a 3-1 win over Albion College in the semis. In the finals, Adrian College struck with one goal in the first half that held up and the Flying Dutch lost the game (1-0) and the tournament title for the first time in three years. Hope, however, did receive an at-large bid to play in the NCAA Division III Tournament.
  • 2018 NCAA Tournament Recap: The Flying played through to the round of 16 for the first time in program history. In the first round, they defeated Bridgewater (Va.) College, 1-0, and then topped host Otterbein (Ohio) University, 2-1, in the second round. Playing next in the sectionals, the Flying Dutch's tournament run was ended, 2-1, by host Christopher Newport (Va.),

Pictured: Junior goalie Jordanne Ellingboe clears the ball.

"We've told the team we are not looking in the rearview mirror. Last year is done. We've been there, we did it. Now what are we going to do?" — Head Coach Leigh Sears

2019 Roster

The Flying Dutch's roster consists of four seniors, eight juniors, seven sophomores and six freshmen. The 2018 squad graduated 12 seniors, but this year's team has a solid nucleus of seasoned players.

2019 Women's Soccer Team
"People will probably assume since we graduated at 12, we're not going to be the same. And we won't be the same. But I don't think we'll be any less determined or skilled; it's just going to look different. We have a lot of good pieces left in place. And those players have a lot of really good experience, too. Our defense will be pretty new, but everybody else has been around for a while." — Head Coach Leigh Sears
Senior Abbey Prezkop keeps the ball in play.

Key Returners:

  • Senior forward Abbey Prezkop played in all 21 games for the Flying Dutch last season. She had three goals and three assists.
  • Senior midfielder Megan Bigelow was a starter for 19 of the 21 games she played in 2018. She scored two goals and had one assist.
  • Senior forward Sarah McCoy scored two goals while playing in 10 games in 2018.
  • Junior goalie Jordanne Ellingboe recorded a 83.1% save percentage in goal last year with nine shutouts.
  • Junior midfielder Audrey White also played in every Hope game last year and scored two goals.
  • Junior midfielder Maria Egloff was a starter in 19 of the 21 games she played in last year. She scored one goal.
  • Sophomore Caroline Burkhardt, who played in 20 games for Hope in 2018, will play the midfield with Egloff and White.
  • Sophomore forward Sarah Miksell played in 17 games, starting in four, and scored four goals and recorded one assist last year.
Junior midfielder Maria Egloff
LEFT: Senior Sarah McCoy; RIGHT: Sophomore Sarah Mikesell
Junior captain Audrey White

2019 Women's Soccer Schedule

The Flying Dutch kick off their 2019 season with a non-league games at home on Friday, August 30 against George Fox (Ore.) University and Saturday, August 31 against Washington University in St. Louis. They begin league play on Saturday, September 28 versus Kalamazoo College at home in Van Andel Soccer Stadium.

"Our schedule is a reverse of home-and-away from last year so we still have Wheaton, UChicago, Elmhurst, Ohio Wesleyan, and John Carroll. We're going to Ohio Northern and also playing Capital there. The only difference is George Fox and WashU who is ranked preseason number three. So it's going to be a hard schedule." — Coach Leigh Sears

2019 Coaching Staff

Head Coach Leigh Sears

Coach Leigh Sears starts her 19th season at the helm of the Hope women's soccer program. In her previous 18 seasons leading the Flying Dutch, Dr. Leigh Sears has become Hope's winningest women's soccer coach with a 226-111-26 overall record through the 2018 season. She has guided the Flying Dutch to six Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championships and six appearances in the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Sears holds the academic rank of associate professor of kinesiology.

"The women are working super hard. They all came in really fit; all of them passed our fitness test. And they're really coachable. They listen really well. That's not to say that other teams haven't been that way, it's just that they're young and excited and they're ready to go." — Coach Leigh Sears
Junior forward Brinley Nieuwenhuis (4)

By The Numbers

  • 3. Consecutive MIAA regular-season titles from 2016 to 2018.
  • 3.55. The team GPA of the 2018 squad, earning them an MIAA Team GPA award.
  • 10. Home games in 2019.
  • 23. Women's soccer student-athletes who were named to the MIAA Honor Roll with GPAs of 3.5 or higher.
  • 31. Years of the Hope women's soccer program.

Hope's Home Field Advantage

The Flying Dutch often host youth teams for their home games at Van Andel Soccer Stadium on Hope's campus.
Van Andel Soccer Stadium accommodates 1,400 fans in stadium-style and bleacher seating.
Created By
Eva Dean Folkert


Photos by Lynne Powe and Steven Herrpich

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