The Flying Dutch will be seeking to rebound from rare back-to-back losing seasons as they challenge for a Michigan Intercollegiate Ahletic Association (MIAA) championship.
Coach Leigh Sears' Flying Dutch approach the season with a pre-season roster of 21 returning letterwinners. There are seven sophomores, nine juniors and four seniors.
Coach Sears begins her 10th season at the helm of the program. Her teams have averaged 11 victories per season. The 2010 Flying Dutch posted a 6-9-3 record and finished seventh in the MIAA standings (2-4-2).
Co-captains of the team will be senior Lana Gentry of Traverse City (Traverse City Central HS), senior Bethann Hamer of Palatine, Ill. (Palatine HS), junior Sara Lang of Traverse City (Traverse City Central HS), and senior Danielle Petzak of Zeeland (Zeeland West HS).
Two returning players have received All-MIAA honors in their career. Junior Lindsay Jipping of Jenison (Unity Christian HS) was named to the All-MIAA second team in 2010 while junior Tricia Bajema of Grandville (Grandville HS) was a second team honoree in 2009.
Junior Alyson Epolito of East Lansing (East Lansing HS) was named the team's most valuable offensive player in 2010 while Sara Lang was honored by her teammates as the most inspirational player. Sopmore Courtney Laux of Novi (Novi) returns from a rookie of the year season.
Other returning letterwinners include junior Megan Altieri of Bay Village (Bay Village HS), sophomore Kelsey Bekius of Spring Lake (Spring Lake HS), sophomore Kristina Bosch of Holland (Holland Christian HS), junior Kylie Clark of Noblesville, Ind. (Noblesville HS), junior Rachel Doud of Rockford (Rockford HS), junior Meredith Faas of Saline (Saline HS), senior Grace Gonzales of Park Ridge, Ill. (Maine South HS), sophomore Acacia Nevenzel of Holland (Holland HS), junior Alexis Prins of Hudsonville (Unity Christian HS), sophomore Rachel Rebhan of Holland (Zeeland East HS), sophomore Cassie VandenBosch of Zeeland (Zeeland East HS), and sophomore Raisa Yewah of East Lansing (East Lansing HS).
The MIAA will be returning to a home-and-away conference schedule with a season-ending tournament involving the top four teams to determine who will represent the league in the NCAA championships.
The Flying Dutch will be playing for a third season at Hope's beautiful Van Andel Soccer Stadium. The team will play 10 regular season home games, including four under the lights.