2019 Hope College Men's Lacrosse Preview by Eva Dean Folkert

Pictured above: Hope junior defender Andrew Caris in action.

2019 At A Glance

  • Roster size: 36
  • Returners: 22
  • Captains: Senior Gino Battaglia, senior Liam Turley, senior Nick Schanhals, junior Nick Bazany, sophomore Stephen Holpuch
  • 2019 MIAA Preseason Poll: First place
  • Outlook: The Flying Dutchmen are looking to repeat as Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association champions after winning their first league title in program history in 2018. Hope finished with a program-best record of 15-2 last year and were undefeated in MIAA play at 7-0.
  • Fast fact: As top seed, Hope hosted two rounds of the MIAA Tournament in 2018 at Van Andel Soccer Stadium. After defeating Alma College, 8-7, in the semifinals, the Flying Dutchmen fell to Albion College, 11-8, in the tournament championship game.

Pictured: Max Kuiper, left, and Nathaniel Hentschel, right, celebrate a Hope goal.

2019 Roster

The Flying Dutchmen's roster consists of five seniors, 11 juniors, six sophomores and 13 freshmen. Hope had the largest number of all-MIAA honorees in 2018 with 11 players. Four returning players earned first-team All-MIAA honors in 2018: Senior long-stick midfielder Josh Blackburn, junior defender Andrew Caris, junior attacker Max Kuiper, and junior attacker Rocco Mularoni. Returning to Hope on the 2018 All-MIAA second team are senior midfielder Gino Battaglia, junior defender Nick Bazany, junior midfielder Nathaniel Hentschel, senior goalie Nick Schanhals and junior midfielder Marshall VanBelkum.

Key Returner

Junior Rocco Mularoni was named the MIAA's Most Valuable Offensive Player in 2018. He led the Flying Dutchmen with 53 goals while distributing 22 assists as well. Mularoni was ranked 33rd in the NCAA Division III in goals per game average (3.12) and 46th in points per game (4.41).

Key Returner

Senior goalie Nick Schanhals was first in NCAA Division III in goals against average (6.10) and 28th in save percentage (.584). He was an All-MIAA second-team honoree.

Key Returner

Junior Max Kuiper was Hope's second-leading goal scorer with 38 goals and its leader in assists with 23. He was named to the All-MIAA First Team.

Other Hope Players to Watch

TOP: Hope's defense, with players like Josh Blackburn (#29), Nick Schanhals (#14), Nick Bazany (#30) and Micah Bieri (#12), held opponents to only 5.88 goals against per game, second best in NCAA Division III; BOTTOM LEFT: Face-off specialist Marshall VanBelkum, an all-MIAA second team selection, won 65% of his face-offs for Hope; BOTTOM RIGHT: Long-stick midfielder Gareth Ulmer (#32) ranked 28th in the NCAA Division III in caused turnovers per game (2.53).

2019 Men's Lacrosse Schedule

The Flying Dutchmen open their 2019 season with two road games — on Friday, February 15 at Lawrence Technological University, then on Saturday, February 23 at Elmhurst College (Illinois). Hope's home opener in the Van Andel Soccer Stadium is Tuesday, March 5 versus Augustana College (Illinois). MIAA play starts for men's lacrosse on Wednesday, April 3 at Alma College.

2019 Coaching Staff

Head Coach Michael Schanhals

Though leading the Flying Dutchmen into their seventh varsity season, Coach Mike Schanhals has had an even longer association with Hope men's lacrosse. Schanhals served as head coach of the program for eight years when it was a member of the MCLA prior to becoming an MIAA sport in 2013. He also played for the Hope men's lacrosse club as a student-athlete from 1988 to 1990, serving as captain his senior year.

Assistant Coaches

"Last year was a great building block for what we hope to accomplish this year. The guys are doing the right things; they're taking care of one another. They're taking care of their growth in terms of not being satisfied with being pretty good; they want to be even better. That's continual thing. So I'm really proud of them for that. We have high expectations." — Coach Michael Schanhals
Junior Andrew Pavey battles for a ground ball.

By The Numbers

  • 5. Ranking in NCAA Division III in winning percentage last season.
  • 15. Number of games won in a row by the Flying Dutchmen last season. The streak started with their second game and ended with the finals of the MIAA Championship game.
  • 228. Goals scored by the Flying Dutchmen last season.
  • 124. Assists by the Flying Dutchmen last season.
  • 13.41. Goals per game last season.
  • 43. Shots per game last season.
  • 31.2. Shooting percentage last season.
"This year, we need to make sure that we're not a momentum-driven team, that we play consistently at a high level and not just in bursts. We need to leverage our depth to apply steady pressure on our opponents." — Coach Michael Schanhals

Rule Change

A new 80-second possession clock will be in play this year. Teams have a total of 80 seconds to shoot on an opponent's goal and within that 80 seconds, it has 20 seconds to advance the ball across midfield. Once over the midfield line after 20 seconds, teams must keep the ball on its offensive end. If the ball crosses the midfield line after 20 seconds, an over-and-back penalty is incurred and there is a change of possession.

"This new rule change will make a dynamic game, even more exciting. I like it!" — Coach Michael Schanhals

Pictured: Sophomore midfielder Stephen Holpuch

Hope's Home Field Advantage

Flying Dutchmen Lacrosse plays at Van Andel Soccer Stadium on the Hope College campus
Van Andel Soccer Stadium accommodates 1,400 fans in stadium-style and bleacher seating.
Created By
Eva Dean Folkert


Photos by Steven Herppich and Lynne Powe

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