by Alan Babbitt
The Hope College men's lacrosse team begins its quest for a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament championship on Wednesday, May 1 at home.
The top-seeded Flying Dutchmen host fourth-seeded Calvin College for a 7 p.m. semifinal at Van Andel Soccer Stadium.
Wednesday's winner advances to face either second-seeded Albion College or third-seeded Alma College on Saturday, May 4 at the site of the highest remaining seed.
The MIAA Tournament champion will receive an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The national field is announced on ncaa.com on Sunday, May 5 at 0 p.m.
Hope, the regular-season MIAA champion, enters with a 12-3 overall record, while Calvin is 10-7.
The Flying Dutchmen won all six matches to repeat as a league champ, including a 12-3 victory against Calvin College on April 13.
Hope is playing in the MIAA Tournament for the third consecutive season and fourth time overall. The Flying Dutchmen are 1-3 in MIAA semifinals, including an 8-7 victory against fourth-seeded Alma College last season.
This season, attacker Rocco Mularoni of Hartland, Michigan (Detroit Catholic Central HS) leads Hope with 35 goals. He is eighth among MIAA players.
Teammate Max Kuiper of Grand Rapids, Michigan (Forest Hills Central HS) is second on the team with 34 goals. He also leads the Flying Dutchmen with a career-high 31 assists. Calvin's Max Foster tops the Knights with 37 goals.
Video by Elle Merritt