The Hope men's soccer team kicks off its quest for a NCAA Division III national championship on Friday when it plays Wisconsin-Oshkosh at the Waverly, Iowa, regional hosted by Wartburg College.
The Hope-Wisconsin Oshkosh match begins at 7:30 p.m. Central Time. The winner plays either Wartburg or Dominican (Ill.) on Saturday at 5 p.m. CST.
Coach Steven Smith's Flying Dutchmen (16-4-2 overall) face an opponent they have not seen in 10 years.
Hope is 2-2-1 all-time against Wisconsin-Oshkosh, which is ranked ninth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division III poll.
Hope senior co-captain Jason Muller of Petoskey (Petoskey HS) talks about the Flying Dutchmen below.
The Titans own a 15-1-4 record, going undefeated until undefeated until dropping a 2-1 decision to Wisconsin-Superior on Saturday, Nov. 8, in the championship match of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament.
This is Oshkosh's 13th NCAA Tournament appearance and Hope's 11.
Senior Tony Starnes and freshman Jan Nachtigall are Oshkosh's top goalscorers with nine apiece. Junior Kirby Allen has seven for the Titans, who have outscored their opponents by a 49-13 margin this season.
Freshman Sam Gabrilska is Oshkosh's primary keeper. He has made 47 saves and allowed nine goals in 1,417 minutes of action this season.
Hope has outscored opponents by a 54-26 margin.
Muller tops Hope with 15 goals, while four players have six apiece — junior Cameron Dice of Allendale (Hudsonville Unity Christian HS), junior Tarow Konbloa of Kentwood (East Kentwood HS), junior Logan Sikkenga of Hudsonville (Hudsonville HS) and freshman Josh Hagene of Caledonia (East Kentwood HS).