Six Flying Dutchmen Earn All-MIAA Honors
Six Hope College men's soccer players have been awarded All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) All-Conference Honors, including four on the first team.
Seniors Jason Muller and Grant Neil and juniors Logan Sikkenga and Tarwo Konbloa all were named first-team selections by MIAA coaches, while junior Cameron Dice and sophomore Ethan Beswick both made the second team.
Muller, a forward from Petoskey (Petoskey HS), also received the Marv Zuidema Award. An award presented for the first time in 1999 in honor of the late Dr. Marvin Zuidema, longtime men's soccer coach and athletic administrator at Calvin College. The recipient is a senior selected for his contributions to team play, leadership qualities, demonstration of ethical virtues and excellence in athletics and academics.
Muller finished second in the MIAA with 28 points in 14 league matches. He had 12 goals and four assists during MIAA play and 15 goals overall.
"Jason was our first 15-goal scorer in a very long time," Hope coach Steven Smith said. "He's been the guy when we needed someone to get the job done. He's been such a stand-up person on the field. Add that to his character off the field, and you have what allowed me to put him up for the Zuidema award."
Neil, a back from Holland (West Ottawa HS), anchored the protection of the Hope's goalies. He also had a team-high six assists and one goal in league play.
"He's an inspirational person, a strong leader," Smith said. "He has been training Toby Blom to be another one of those central back players in the future. He has done a tremendous job of leading our team."
Among the co-captains of the men's soccer team, Muller and Neil are also two-sport athletes — Muller in tennis and Neil in basketball.
Konbloa, a midfielder from Kentwood (East Kentwood HS), recorded four goals and two assists in MIAA action.
"He really anchored our middle," Smith said. "He could dominate out on the field and give guys confidence for how to play under pressure."
Sikkenga, a back from Hudsonville (Hudsonville HS), provided a two-way threat. His career-high six goals for the season all came in league play.
"Logan is a guy who came in his freshman year and didn't get a lot of playing time. But he stayed after practice to work on his footwork," Smith said. "He has continued to do that. You could see him all summer working it, and it paid off, not just for him but the team's sake."
Dice, a forward from Allendale (Hudsonville Unity Christian HS), collected three goals and four assists in MIAA matches. Dice, pictured at right, had the only goal in Hope's shootout win against Calvin in the MIAA Tournament final.
"He's been a clutch player toward the end of the year," Smith said. "He's been an impact goalscorer for us."
Beswick, a goalkeeper from Grand Haven, allowed only 16 goals in 13 MIAA matches.
Beswick, pictured at left, made 60 saves in 1,143 minutes of league action for a 10-2 record.
"He played in a lot of games as a freshman, but swapped roles at the start of the season. Will (Morlock) got injured, and he had to step up his game. He had an incredible league season."
Five Flying Dutch Players Receive All-MIAA Honors
Forwards Erin Jipping and Raisa Yewah headline a group of five Hope women’s soccer players to receive All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Honors.
Jipping, a junior from Holland (West Ottawa HS), and Yewah, a senior from East Lansing (Okemos HS), both are First Team All-MIAA selections.
Three more members of the Flying Dutch earned All-MIAA Second Team distinction — junior midfielder Lindsey Bieri of Holland (Holland Christian HS), junior goalie Kat Dickson of Grasylake, Ill. (Grayslake Central HS) and junior forward Nora Kirk of Maumee, Ohio (Notre Dame Academy).
Jipping and Yewah shared the team lead with 20 points. Jipping recorded five goals and team-high 10 assists, while Yewah topped Hope with 10 goals.
“Erin’s a tough one. Everyone knows about her speed, and teams try to shut her down,” Hope coach Leigh Sears said. “She was still first in assists. She didn’t score as much as she did last year, but she found other ways to be dangerous.
“Raisa was first with game-winning goals. She had some very big games for us. I think she had a fantastic senior year.”
Kirk came in third for the Flying Dutch with six goals and 16 points.
“She’s amazingly dangerous,” Sears said of Kirk. “She’s so tall, but she’s deceptively fast. She was always in the right spot.”
Bieri collected three goals and five assists. She tied for fourth on the team with 11 points.
“She had another solid year. She played almost every minute for us,” Sears said of Bieri. “She was a workhorse for us in the middle.”
Dickson allowed less than one goal per game. She allowed 12 goals in 1,595 minutes of play for a 0.68 goals against average.
“She led our conference in goals against average,” Sears said of Dickson. “She’s been working real hard to earn the opportunity to play. She finally got it and had a fantastic year.”