The defending champion Hope College men’s lacrosse team earned the top spot in the 2021 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Poll.
The Flying Dutch finished with 35 points after totaling five of seven possible first-place votes. Albion College was runner-up with 32 points and two first-place votes. Coaches could not vote for their own teams.
Led by head coach Michael Schanhals, Hope returns five All-MIAA honorees from the 2019 season. The Flying Dutchmen were off to a 3-0 start a year ago before the remainder of the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Faceoff specialist Cole Scheffler (Rockford, Michigan/Rockford HS) is back on the field after earning All-MIAA First Team honors as a freshman.
He is joined by 2019 second-team honorees: junior long-stick midfielder Brayden Blackburn (Muskegon, Michigan/Reeths-Puffer), junior midfielder Liam Cunningham (South Lyon, Michigan/Detroit Catholic Central), junior defender Tucker Martinez (Zeeland, Michigan/Zeeland West), and junior attacker Jack Radzville (Howell, Michigan/Howell).
Hope is scheduled to open the season on Wednesday, March 3 with a 5 p.m. home against Aurora University (Illinois) at Van Andel Soccer Stadium.
The final six games on this season's schedule will determine the MIAA regular-season champion.
The 2021 MIAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament will include all seven teams (No. 1 seed with first-round bye) and will begin Saturday, May 1, with first-round play; semifinals will be held on Wednesday, May 5, followed by the final on Saturday, May 8. The winner will receive an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Championship.