Men's Lacrosse Shuts Down Kalamazoo For Outright MIAA Title

Many hands worked together to lift the Hope College men's lacrosse team to an outright Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association regular-season championship this spring.

The Flying Dutchmen's depth and skill were on display again Saturday during a 16-1 win at Kalamazoo that secured a 7-0 league record.

A stingy defense and nine different goalscorers powered Hope to its 14th consecutive victory — the longest win streak in team history.

Hope will be the No. 1 seed for next week's MIAA Tournament. The Flying Dutchmen host Alma for a 7 p.m. semifinal Wednesday at Van Andel Soccer Stadium.

MIAA Tournament bracket

The Flying Dutchmen entered the match the nation's fifth-ranked defense at 5.79 goals allowed per match this season. They yielded only eight shots on goal and goalie Nick Schanhals of North Muskegon, Michigan (North Muskegon HS) stopped seven of them.

The one goal is the second-fewest allowed by Hope this season. The Flying Dutchmen shut out Concordia-Chicago on March 28 and Calvin on April 14.

Offensively, sophomore Rocco Mularoni of Hartland, Michigan (Detroit Catholic Central) led a balanced attack with four goals. He now has 52 goals on the season — second in Hope history to Gunnar Elder's 64 in 2016.

Mularoni scored the final two goals in a six-goal, second-period outburst that sent the Flying Dutchmen to an 8-0 halftime lead.

Three Hope players recorded two goals apiece: junior Gino Battaglia of Dayton, Ohio (Lebanon), sophomore Max Kuiper of Grand Rapids, Michigan (Forest Hills Central), and freshman Ben Staubus of Westville, Indiana (Mount Carmel Catholic).

Hope featured three of the MIAA's top five goalscorers in league play this season: Kuiper second with 20, Battaglia tied for third with 19, and Mularoni fifth with 18.

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