By Mark DeHaan
Calvin women's lacrosse played Hope College in its conference opener on Wednesday night at Davenport University.
A strong team effort allowed the Knights to claim their first league win ever over Hope by a score of 10-9 despite being outscored 6-4 in the second half.
Freshman Emily Cefaratti opened up the scoring just over a minute into the game to give the Knights a 1-0 lead. Hope responded with 21:06 to go in the first to tie up the game.
Three straight goals by Calvin put the Knights up 4-1, with junior Paige Noordyke, junior Karissa Reed, and senior Michelle Holwerda all finding the back of the net.
The Flying Dutch then scored two goals in the span of 19 seconds to draw within one at 4-3 with 13:23 remaining in the first half.
Strong defense by the Knights then shut out Hope for the remainder of the half as the Knights scored two goals of their own, from Reed and junior Lissa Busscher, taking a 6-3 lead into halftime.
Out of the break, it was again Cefaratti scoring early for Calvin. Just 31 seconds after the opening draw, the freshman beat Hope's keeper for a 7-3 lead.
The Knights and Flying Dutch then exchanged a goal, with Reed finding the back of the net for the third time on the night.
Leading 8-4, Calvin gave up three straight goals over a four minute period as Hope cut its deficit to one at 8-7.
Freshman Audrey Grabowski then found the back of the net for a key insurance goal for the Knights, putting Calvin back up two goals at 9-7.
Again, the rivals exchanged a goal apiece as Holwerda scored for the Knights for a 10-8 edge with 10:55 to go.
With 2:59 remaining, Hope found the back of the net to draw within one at 10-9. But, solid defense by Calvin and possession on the offensive end shut down the Flying Dutch over the final three minutes, and the Knights claimed a victory in their conference opener.
Calvin outshot Hope 27-17 while also holding an advantage in ground balls at 33-13.
Individually, Reed scored three goals on five shots to lead the Knights offensively. Cefaratti had two goals and an assist while Holwerda added two goals as well.
For Hope, Katie Sabourin had four goals and an assist while Molly Greenfield chipped in with one goal and three assists.
"It feels good to win against Hope. There is something intangible about rivalry games, and someone always rises to the occasion. At least with us, it has always been a close game no matter where we are in the standings," said head coach Blake Boehm. "We have to keep a positive mentality, we have to stay focused, and we have to understand that even if a team scores a couple goals on us the worse thing we can do is bottle up. We need to stay as one unit, press the cage, and capitalize on our offensive opportunities."
The Knights improve to 4-3 overall and 1-0 in conference, beating Hope for the first time in program history in an official conference match. Hope falls to 2-4 and 0-1.
Calvin now looks forward to Saturday when it will face Adrian College at East Grand Rapids High School's Memorial Field. Saturday's contests is scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. with a men's lacrosse match against Baldwin-Wallace to follow at 4:00 p.m.
Women's Lacrosse Holds On For 10-9 Victory Over Hope in MIAA Opener
By Mark DeHaan