by Alan Babbitt
The Hope College men's lacrosse team made a tactical decision on faceoffs for Saturday's rivalry match against Calvin College, and it paid handsomely.
The Flying Dutchmen set themselves up for a 12-3 victory on Saturday at home by winning 15 of 19 faceoffs.
Freshman Cole Scheffler of Rockford, Michigan (Rockford HS) and junior Marshall VanBelkum of Rockford, Michigan (Rockford) teamed to give Hope possession 78.9 percent of the time after a faceoff. They recorded a combined total of 14 faceoff wins.
"Our faceoff guys did a great job on the dot," head coach Michael Schanhals said after the Flying Dutchmen upped their record to 9-3 overall and 4-0 in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association play. "We were strategic and able to work the wings to our advantage. That is a really good Calvin team that we beat today. They were really fired up. It was satisfying to see our guys step up and play so hard."
Saturday was an "It's On Us" game. Hope and Calvin teamed up to promote the national movement to end sexual assault. Schanhals appreciated head coach Dave Hager's and Calvin's willingness to join the Flying Dutchmen in the cause.
Photo of Hope lacrosse helmets with teal "It's On Us stickers" on them by Lynne Powe
"It's On Us is a good organization. We have done work with the One Love Foundation, too," Schanhals said. "I want our players to be good representatives of our school, our program and themselves. I want them to be good men. I'm not that much about talking. I want us to live that."
On the field, Hope charged ahead quickly to a 5-0 lead with goals from five different players during the 10 minutes, 16 seconds.
Junior Rocco Mularoni of Hartland, Michigan (Detroit Catholic Central HS) assisted on two of the Flying Dutchmen's first four goals.
He finished with a team-high five points with two goals and three assists.
Three Hope players collected two goals apiece: senior Gino Battaglia of Dayton, Ohio (Lebanon), junior Nathaniel Hentschel of Spring Lake, Michigan (Spring Lake), and freshman Jack Radzville of Howell, Michigan (Howell) led Hope with three goals.
The Flying Dutchmen outshot Calvin by a 53-20 margin. Goalie Gerrit Kurtycz made 19 saves for the Knights (8-5, 1-2 MIAA).
Hope goalie Nick Schanhals of North Muskegon, Michigan (North Muskegon) totaled seven saves.
The Flying Dutchmen's next match is Saturday, April 20 at 4 p.m. at Adrian College.