A breakthrough season for the Hope College men’s lacrosse team has netted a bevy of postseason honors for the Flying Dutchmen.
A program-best five student-athletes have received All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic
Association First Team recognition from the league’s coaches for the 2018 season.
Six more claimed second-team honors from the MIAA champion Flying Dutchmen, who went unbeaten in league play for the first time.
Attacker Rocco Mularoni headlines a group of 13 All-MIAA First Team selections as Hope’s first MIAA Offensive MVP.
The sophomore from Hartland, Michigan (Detroit Catholic Central HS) topped the MIAA in scoring with 34 points. He recorded 18 goals and 16 assists in league play.
“Rocco is a hard-working and unselfish player who executes well within the team concept,” head coach Michael Schanhals said.
Other first-team honorees were: juniors Josh Blackburn of Muskegon, Michigan (Reeths-Puffer) at long-stick midfielder and Liam Turley of Middleton, Wisconsin (Middleton) at defensive-midfield and sophomores Andrew Caris of Hartland, Michigan (Detroit Catholic Central) at defense and attack Max Kuiper of Grand Rapids, Michigan (Forest Hills Central) at attacker.
Blackburn caused 14 turnovers and picked up 29 ground balls in MIAA matches. He also added one goal and one assist against league foes.
“Josh is tough and tenacious on ground balls, runs the entire field and matches up with the opponent's top midfielder,” Schanhals said.
Turley collected 27 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers in MIAA play. He also recorded three goals and one assist against league opponents.
“Liam is an excellent ground ball player, match-up defender and catalyst to our transition offense,” Schanhals said. “He runs the whole field and helps our team concept gel in the fast/slow break, and the riding game.”
Kuiper finished second in MIAA in scoring with 28 points. He had a team-best 20 goals and eight assists in league play.
“Max is quick and fearless who dynamically works with his attack line to create opportunities and cash in for our offense,” Schanhals said.
Caris forced a team-high 16 turnovers and scooped up 21 ground balls against MIAA foes. He also totaled one goal and three assists in league play.
“Andrew is excellent at matching feet with his opponent, throws a bevy of aggressive checks,” Schanhals said. “He is outstanding at ground ball play and dynamic in the clearing game.”
Hope’s second-team honorees were: senior Grant Brogan of East Lansing, Michigan (East Lansing) at midfield, juniors Gino Battaglia of Dayton, Ohio (Lebanon) at attack, Nathaniel Hentschel of Spring Lake, Michigan (Spring Lake) at midfield, and Nick Schanhals of North Muskegon, Michigan (North Muskegon), and sophomores Nick Bazany of Howell, Michigan (Detroit Catholic Central) at defense and Marshall VanBelkum of Rockford, Michigan (Rockford) at faceoff specialist.