posted November 7, 2004

Flying Dutch Draw Wheaton as First NCAA Opponent

The MIAA champion Hope College Flying Dutch (13-4-2) have drawn a first round bye in the NCAA Division III women's soccer tournament and will wait to compete until next Saturday, Nov. 13 in the second round at Wheaton College of Illinois (20-1).

The game will be played on the artificial turf of Wheaton's East McCully Field with a starting time to be announced.

The Thunder of Wheaton are very familiar to coach Leigh Sears' Dutch. Back in early September Wheaton blanked Hope 7-0 in a season-opening tournament at DePauw. They returned from Greencastle, Ind. with two losses, but since then have lost only twice enroute to winning the championship of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

Ranked third in the nation, Wheaton has advanced to the tournament as champions of the Collegiate Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW). The Thunder have reeled off 20 consecutive victories, including 15 by shutout.

Hope will be making its second consecutive appearance in the NCC tournament. A year ago the Flying Dutch defeated Manchester, Ind. 2-0 in a first round game, but lost to DePauw 1-0 in the second. Wheaton will be appearing in the tournament for an eighth consecutive year.