HOLLAND - Hope teams in soccer and volleyball face road trips to Ohio on their season-opening weekend (August 31-September 1).
The men's soccer team will play in a tournament at OhioWesleyanUniversity in Delaware while the women's soccer team will be heading to Gambier and then Granville. And the volleyball team will play in a tournament in Ada.
The men's soccer team will play Kean, N.J. on Friday and then either Guilford, N.C. or host Ohio Wesleyan on Saturday. The women's soccer team will meet Mount St. Joseph at Kenyon College on Friday and then travel to Denison on Saturday. The volleyball tournament will featured five teams at Ohio Northern. Hope will play the host Polar Bears in their first match followed by matches against Carnegie-Mellon, Pa., Wooster, Ohio and Mount St. Joseph, Ohio.
The two-time defending MIAA Flying Dutchmen will be seeking to build on what has become the most successful decade of Hope soccer. Through six seasons of the new millennium, the Flying Dutchmen have won 80% of their games (104-28-9) with four conference championships and four appearances in the NCAA Division III playoffs.
The team's MIAA championship season was the 13th in school history and the eighth in 17 seasons under coach Steven Smith. The team posted a 14-4-2 overall record, won 13 of 14 league games and limited opponents to just 12 goals over 20 games.
Coach Smith ranks among the winningest NCAA Division III coaches with a career record of 238-79-22.
Captains of the team will be senior Michael Amerman of Indianapolis, Ind. (Brebeuf Prep), senior Mark Dishnow of Saline, Mich. (Saline HS), junior Kevin McMahon of Grand Rapids, Mich. (Forest Hills Central HS), and senior Dan Tresslar of Bloomington, Ind. (Bloomington South HS).
Four returning players achieved All-MIAA honors in 2006 - junior forward Jack Abe of Naperville, Ill. (Naperville North HS), Dan Tresslar, Michael Amerman, and sophomore Kevin Bartosek of Traverse City, Mich. (TC West HS).
Tresslar was voted the MIAA's most valuable player as he achieved all-league first team honors for a second year. He led the team in scoring with 14 goals and three assists. He was also named a NSCAA/adidas NCAA Division III second team All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association.
Other returning letterwinners include sophomore Justin Bailey of Portage, Mich. (Portage Northern HS), junior Daniel Chesney of Clinton Township, Mich. (DeLaSalle HS), junior Mitchell Currie of Fort Collins, Colo. (Fort Collins HS), sophomore Chris Harrison of Plymouth, Minn. (Wayzata HS), sophomore John Herbert of Culver, Ind. (Culver Academy), sophomore Ben Rosema of Spring Lake, Mich. (Spring Lake HS), sophomore Ausable Schwiebert of Chelsea, Mich. (Chelsea HS), and junior James Trebilcock of Haslett, Mich.
Four of the returning players received MIAA Player of the Week honors in 2006 - Jack Abe, Michael Amerman, Mitchell Currie, and Dan Tresslar (twice).
The Flying Dutchmen will play in three tournaments, including their own Cal Bergsma Memorial Invitational, before facing the 14-game league schedule.
A mixture of veterans and players new to the program should put the Flying Dutch in a good position to challenge for the championship of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA).
The Flying Dutch have won the MIAA championship three of the last four seasons. A year ago the Dutch finished second in the conference standings behind rival Calvin. A toughened non-league schedule left the team with a 9-8-2 overall record.
Coach Leigh Sears begins her seventh season at the helm of the Flying Dutch. She will build this year's team around 16 returning letterwinners. The roster of 24 players includes 10 freshmen, three sophomores, seven juniors and four seniors.
Three returning players received All-MIAA honors in 2006 - junior midfielder Allison VanBeek of Libertyville, Ill. (Libertyville HS), senior forward Sarah Cochrane of Watertown, Wisc. (Watertown HS), and junior defender Allen Molenaar of Portage, Mich. (Portage Central HS). Van Beek and Cochrane ranked among the MIAA's leading scorers with seven and six goals respectively. Senior Ellie Tresslar of Bloomington, Ind. (Bloomington HS) received All-MIAA honors in 2004 and 2005.
Other returning letterwinners include sophomore Brenna Boat of Pella, Iowa (Pella HS), sophomore Erin Eddy of Walled Lake, Mich. (Walled Lake Central HS), senior Julia Fischer of Laingsburg, Mich. (Laingsburg HS), sophomore Kirsten Kaufmann of Clio, Mich. (Flint Powers HS), junior Suzi Knowles of North Fork, Calif. (Yosemite HS), junior Sonya Masghati of Naperville, Ill. (Naperville Central HS), junior Kelly Schaefer of Fenton, Mich. (Linden HS), senior Danielle Schurr of Richland, Mich. (Gull Lake HS), junior Sarah Sosolik of Oswego, Ill. (Oswego HS), junior Cassie Thomas of Glen Gardner, N.J. (Voorhees HS), sophomore Emily Wade of Bloomfield Hills (Seaholm HS), and sophomore Kristi Zetterholm of West Bloomfield, Mich. (West Bloomfield HS).
Players receiving 2006 team honors include Allison VanBeek, most valuable player; Sarah Cochrane, most valuable offensive player; Ellen Molenaar, most valuable defensive player; Julie Kofron, rookie of the year; Kristi Zetterholm, most improved player and Kelly Schaefer and Brenna Boat, most inspirational players.
The schedule will be comprised of nine non-league and eight conference games leading up to the MIAA tournament at the end of October.
The 2007 Flying Dutch will be seeking to maintain the momentum of a string of successful seasons.
In three seasons under coach Becky Schmidt the Flying Dutch have averaged 24 victories a year. The 2006 Flying Dutch posted a 25-10 record, finished second in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) behind rival Calvin and qualified for the NCAA Division III championships.
The 2007 team will be built around nine returning letterwinners. The roster of 24 players includes 14 freshmen, four sophomores, five juniors and one senior.
The tri-captains of the team are junior Kylee Damstra of Byron Center, Mich. (South Christian HS); senior Amanda Novak of East Grand Rapids, Mich. (East Grand Rapids HS) and junior Nora Slenk of Holland, Mich. (Holland Christian HS). Slenk was an All-MIAA second team honoree in 2006. She was among the NCAA Division III leaders in kills (3.97 per game).
Other returning letterwinners include sophomore Teresa Borst of Zeeland, Mich. (Zeeland East HS), sophomore Alli Cole of Hamilton, Mich. (Hamilton HS), sophomore Andrea Helminiak of Maumee, Ohio (Bay HS), junior Jill Immink of Hamilton, Mich. (Hamilton HS), sophomore Kristen Johnson of Naperville, Ill. (Wheaton Academy), and junior Megan Winer of Ada, Mich. (Forest Hills Central HS).