By Greg Chandler
The Hope College men's lacrosse team unleashed its biggest offensive explosion of the 2018 season Saturday as the Flying Dutchmen romped to a 23-4 Senior Day victory over Adrian College at Van Andel Soccer Stadium.
The Flying Dutchmen extended their school-record winning streak to 12 games as they improved to 5-0 in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association play and 12-1 overall.
Hope will head to Albion (4-0 in MIAA play, 6-6 overall) on Tuesday night for a 7 p.m. showdown that will likely determine the MIAA champion and the top seed for next month's conference tournament.
Hope dominated from the outset. Junior attacker Gino Battaglia of Dayton, Ohio (Lebanon HS) scored the first of his four goals just 53 seconds after the opening faceoff. Hope added goals by sophomore Andrew Pavey of Grand Rapids, Michigan (Forest Hills Eastern), sophomore Rocco Mularoni of Hartland, Michigan (Detroit Catholic Central) and junior Matthew Harkema of St. Louis Park, Minnesota (St. Louis Park) for a 4-0 lead just past the seven-minute mark.
After the Bulldogs got on the board, Hope closed out the first quarter with a spectacular behind-the-back goal by sophomore attacker Max Kuiper of Grand Rapids, Michigan (Forest Hills Central), off a long pass from sophomore Andrew Caris of Hartland, Michigan (Detroit Catholic Central), making it 5-1 in favor of the Flying Dutchmen.
Hope blew the game open in the second quarter with nine goals, including three by Battaglia and two by Kuiper, to take a 14-3 halftime lead. The Dutchmen tacked on six goals in the third and three more in the fourth as they topped the 20-goal mark for the third time this season.
The 23 goals tied for the third-highest single-game goal total in Hope history, matching a 23-goal effort against Calvin College in April 2014. The school record for most goals in a game is 27, set against Dubuque (Iowa) in March 2014.
Eleven different players scored for Hope, led by Battaglia and senior midfielder Grant Brogan of East Lansing, Michigan (East Lansing HS) with four goals each. Kuiper added three goals and an assist.
Scoring two goals apiece were Pavey, sophomore Scott Brooks of Hilliard, Ohio (Hilliard Davidson), freshman Colton Warren of Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville) and freshman Ben Staubus of Westville, Indiana (Chicago Mount Carmel Catholic Prep). Mularoni had one goal and five assists.
Junior goalkeeper Nick Schanhals of North Muskegon, Michigan (North Muskegon) made three saves in goal while playing the first three quarters. Freshman Peter Reynolds of Holland, Michigan (Black River) played the fourth quarter in goal for Hope.
Hope outshot Adrian 48-19 for the contest and caused 25 Adrian turnovers while committing 17. The Dutchmen also won 21 of 29 faceoffs and scooped up 35 ground balls to 23 for the Bulldogs.
Prior to the game, Hope honored its three seniors from this year's team: Brogan, long stick midfielder Joe Williams of Farmington Hills, Michigan (Detroit Catholic Central) and midfielder John Hunger of Bay Village, Ohio (Bay).