Gunnar Elder Three-Peats As All-MIAA First Team Men’s Lacrosse Selection
Gunnar Elder will finish a decorated Hope College men’s lacrosse career as a three-time, All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association First Team honoree.
The senior from East Grand Rapids, Michigan (East Grand Rapids HS) is one of 13 first-team
selections for the 2017 season. He also was a first-team pick as a junior and a sophomore.
Elder is joined by four teammates who received second-team honors from the league’s coaches: Andrew Caris, Kyle Gaines, Rocco Mularoni and Nick Schanhals.
Elder, Hope’s all-time leading scorer, has put the Flying Dutchmen on the national map, head coach Michael Schanhals said.
“He has been a statistical leader at the national level and a joy to work with,” Michael Schanhals said. “His leadership shows this year as he has had his most balanced scoring year with 31 goals and 34 assists. He is a total team player.”
Elder helped the Flying Dutchmen tie for second in the MIAA standings with a 5-2 league record and claim the No. 2 seed for this week’s MIAA Tournament.
Elder led the MIAA with 25 assists in seven league matches this season. He also was 10th with 16 goals against MIAA foes.
Elder was one of three attackers on the first team.
Gaines is a second-team faceoff specialist. The freshman from South Lyon, Michigan (Detroit Catholic Central) ranks second with 87 faceoff wins in 129 chances. He also scored three goals.
Caris is a second-team defender. The freshman from Hartland, Michigan (Detroit Catholic Central) added four goals and two assists in league games in addition to his responsibilities protecting his goal.
“Andrew is a dynamic defender who excels as a match-up defender, and in our clearing game,” Michael Schanhals said. “He has a rock-solid work ethic, team player, and key part of our freshmen class of defenders with the likes of Nick Bazany, etc.”
“Kyle teams up with Marshall VanBelkum to take faceoffs for us,” Michael Schanhals said. “He has a fantastic work ethic and a bright future.”
Mularoni is a second-team attacker. The freshman from Hartland, Michigan (Detroit Catholic Central) collected 18 goals and seven assists against MIAA opponents.
“Rocco is a solid dodger who draws a double team,” Michael Schanhals said. “He was part of a dynamic tandem at attack that includes Gunnar and Max Kuiper.”
Nick Schanhals is a second-team goalie after his first season with the Flying Dutchmen. The sophomore from North Muskegon, Michigan (North Muskegon) ranked third in the MIAA with a 10.38 goals against average in league play. He had a 52.6 save percentage against MIAA foes.
“He’s physically and mentally tough,” said Michael Schanhals, his father.