by Alan Babbitt
Midfielder Isaac Braak's relentless effort and playmaking skills came in handy for the Hope College men's soccer team this season.
The junior from Grand Haven, Michigan (Grand Haven HS) has been recognized for his performance as an All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association First-Team selection for the 2018 season.
Braak is one of four first-team midfielders chosen by the league's coaches.
"Isaac is a tireless worker in the midfield," head coach Dave Brandt said. "He is creative, slippery and very dangerous on the dribble. He is a great playmaker, smart, and opportunistic."
Braak tied for second on the team in MIAA scoring with 10 points. He recorded three goals and a team-high four assists during league matches.
Three of Braak's teammates received All-MIAA Second Team honors: senior forward Christian Dault of Grand Haven, Michigan (Grand Haven), junior forward Logan Bylsma of Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville), and sophomore midfielder Ty Dalton of Rockford, Michigan (Rockford).
Dault also totaled 10 points in MIAA play with four goals and two assists.
"Christian is an extremely talented and dangerous attacking player," Brandt said. "He has put it all together to have a truly great senior year. I am very proud of the investment he's made in the last eight months and how it has paid dividends for our team."
Bylsma topped the Flying Dutchmen with seven goals against MIAA opponents. He ranked third among MIAA goal scorers in league matches.
"Logan had a breakout year," Brandt said. "He is one of the hardest working and most physical players you will ever come across."
Dalton's impact on the Flying Dutchmen went far beyond the stat sheet, even though he did not record a point in MIAA play.
"Ty's work rate and creativity on the ball have made him one of the top midfielders in the conference already," Brandt said. "He switches play extremely well, uncanny at escaping pressure, and very good on the defensive side of the ball."
Braak and his teammates have advanced to the semifinals of the MIAA Tournament. The Flying Dutchmen play at Calvin College tonight at 7 p.m.
"I am extremely proud of what our team has accomplished this year," Brandt said. "Our four guys honored are deserving for sure, but only through the efforts of equally talented and invested teammates, some of whom are equally as deserving of honors like these.
"Our focus has been and remains on getting a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament this season. We will continue directing all of our efforts and energy to that goal."