Hope College Men's Soccer Historic Moments

Updated thru 2019 season

PROGRAM ORIGINS AND MILESTONES

Men's soccer made its Hope debut in 1963. The team was coached then by Dr. Phil VanEyl, a professor of psychology, for the program’s first four years.

The Flying Dutchmen won the MIAA championship five times between 2002 and 2013. Hope's league record during that span is an outstanding 125-29-10.

Shaun Groetsema in the 2011 NCAA Tournament The Flying Dutchmen made their debut in the state-of-the-art Van Andel Soccer Stadium during the 2009 season. The Flying Dutchmen posted a 5-1-1 record in their inaugural season. In six of those games, four ended in a 1-0 score (3-1), one at 1-1 and the other a 6-0 Hope win. 

Outstanding among Hope's appearances in the NCAA Division III playoffs was the 1994 team which advanced to the quarterfinals before being eliminated in a shootout. That MIAA championship team allowed only 11 goals in 21 games. The 2002 league champions held three NCAA opponents without a goal. Hope lost on a shootout that year to Wheaton College (Illinois) in the regional finals after going 0-0 in double overtime.

Pictured right in orange, Shaun Groetesma in the NCAA Tournament win over Dominican.

Hope made its deepest run into the NCAA Division III championships in 2011 and was rewarded with the highest national ranking in the program's history. The Flying Dutchmen were ranked ninth in the final national poll of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. It was Hope's first Top 10 ranking. Hope advanced to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Division III tournament before bowing to eventual national champion Ohio Wesleyan, 2-1. The Flying Dutchmen tied a school record for victories in a season posting a 17-5-4 record.

HOPE VS. CALVIN HIGHLIGHTS

Hope and rival Calvin were co-champions in the MIAA's first season (1970). Forty years later (2010), the teams were again MIAA co-champions. The two rivals have been MIAA co-champions three times (1970-2003-2010).

PLAYS AND PLAYERS OF NOTE

In 2011, Logan Neil became the fourth Hope player to receive the MIAA's most valuable player award in back-to-back years. In 2007, Dan Tresslar became the third Hope player to receive the MIAA's most valuable player award in back-to-back years. He joined Kevin Benman (1984 & 1985) and Glenn Swier (1974 & 1975).

Hope's All-time MIAA MVPs

Hope has been blessed with an abundance of All-America goalkeepers, beginning with Lee Schopp '93 as a junior and senior. Aaron Angeli '96 was honored his senior year and Marcus Voss '03 as both a junior and senior. Yet another goalkeeper, Al Crothers '84, was a four-time All-MIAA honoree.

Hope All-Time All-Americans

When junior goalkeeper Logan Neil was voted the MIAA's most valuable player in 2010, he set a first for Hope athletics. His father, Matt Neil ‘82, was the MIAA's most valuable basketball player in 1982. It marked the first time a Hope father-son duo have been honored in this way by the MIAA. Younger brother Grant Neil also achieved All-MIAA first team honors in 2012 and 2013.

COACHES OF NOTE

When he retired after the 2017 season, Coach Steven Smith was among the winningest active Division III coaches.  He had 372-154-44 record that put him 11th in wins among active Division III men's soccer coaches after the 2017 season. MIAA history was made when his teams strung together three consecutive MIAA championship seasons (1994-1996). Smith guided the Flying Dutchmen to nine conference championships and 11 NCAA tournament appearances from 1990 to 2017. 

Under brand-new head coach Dave Brandt in 2018, Hope had its best start in 22 years, going 9-0. The 1996 squad started 15-0-1. Brandt’s first Flying Dutchmen team posted a 14-3-1 overall record, improving by seven wins over the previous year.

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