Flying Dutchmen Top Rival Calvin, Move Into First-Place Tie In MIAA
Midfielder Cameron Dice and the Hope men’s soccer team made the most of their second chance against rival Calvin.
The Flying Dutchmen won the 93rd edition of this rivalry, beating Calvin 3-1 in front of a rain-soaked Van Andel Soccer Stadium crowd of 572.
Dice, a junior from Allendale (Hudsonville Unity Christian HS), chipped in a goal and an assist to help Hope move into a first-place tie with Calvin atop the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) standings.
The Flying Dutchmen avenged an earlier 5-1 loss at Calvin that opened league play.
Dice pointed to his team’s approach for the reversal of outcomes.
“We honored their attacks a lot more this game. Just mentally focused every single play, playing our best every chance we had,” Dice said. “I think in the first game, we were a little lax on opportunities. We gave them free chances, and they capitalized on them. I think this game we were more sound on defense and capitalized on our chances.
Hope (10-3-1 overall, 6-2 MIAA) never trailed.
Dice capped the scoring with his third goal of the season, netting it in the 83rd minute. Senior midfielder Jason Muller of Petoskey (Petoskey HS) had the assist.
Calvin (7-5, 6-2 MIAA) pulled within a goal in the 62nd minute. Junior forward Travis Vegter of Hudsonville (Unity Christian HS) scored his league-leading 16th goal of the season off an assist from senior forward Zach Willis of Wyoming (Unity Christian).
The Flying Dutchmen grabbed a 2-0 lead 3:40 into the second half when junior midfielder Tarwo Konbloa of Kentwood (East Kentwood HS) recorded his third goal of the season. Dice set up Konbloa on the play.
Hope struck first on a header from junior midfielder Gavin Midlam of East Lansing (East Lansing HS) in the 35th minute. Midlam’s fourth goal of the season came off a throw-in from senior defender Grant Neil of Holland (West Ottawa HS).
“Credit to Hope. They played well tonight,” Calvin coach Ryan Souders said. “Soccer is a game of little things. We didn’t do the little things tonight, and they did. I’m proud of our guys’ effort. This is a tough place to play, a good team.”
The win snapped a five-game skid for the Flying Dutchmen against Calvin that covered three seasons.
“It’s been forever,” Dice said. “For our junior class, it was huge. We were so ready for this game from the start. We just really wanted to get the win against Calvin. Any time you play Calvin, you want to get a ‘W’, but this time it was so much bigger than that.