The Flying Dutchmen will be aiming to be right in the thick of the 2008 conference race while aiming to build on the most successful decade of Hope College men's soccer.
A year ago the Flying Dutchmen finished second behind rival Calvin in the standings of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) and posted an overall 13-6-1 record. Through seven seasons of the new millennium the Flying Dutchmen have won nearly 80% of they games (117-34-10) with four conference championships and four appearances in the NCAA Division III playoffs.
Coach Steven Smith begins his 19th season at the helm of men's soccer program. He ranks among the winningest NCAA Division III coaches with a career record of 251-85-23.
The pre-season roster includes 20 returning letterwinners, including five players who received All-MIAA honors in 2007. The team returns eight of its top nine scorers.
Tri-captains of the team will be junior Chris Harrison of Plymouth, Minn. (Wayzata HS), senior Kevin McMahon of Grand Rapids, Mich. (Forest Hills Central HS), and senior James Trebilcock of Haslett, Mich. (Haslett HS).
Trebilcock and junior Kevin Bartosek of Traverse City, Mich. (Traverse West HS) were named to the All-MIAA first team in 2007 while Kevin McMahon, senior Mitchell Currie of Fort Collins, Colo. (Fort Collins HS) and senior John Turner of East Kentwood, Mich. (East Kentwood HS) were All-MIAA second team selections. Senior Jack Abe of Naperville, Ill. (Naperville North HS) was an All-MIAA first team honoree in 2006.
Trebilcock, Abe and junior Ausable Schwiebert of Chelsea, Mich. (Chelsea HS) were named MIAA players of the week in 2007.
Other returning letterwinners include junior Justin Bailey of Portage, Mich. (Portage Northern HS), sophomore Ross Bailey of Ogden Dunes, Ind. (Portage HS), sophomore Riley Byrnes of Michigan City, Ind. (Michigan City HS), sophomore Ryan Cotter of Zeeland, Mich. (Zeeland East HS), sophomore Daniel Glaser of Ann Arbor, Mich. (Lenawee Christian HS), sophomore Andrew Goorhouse of Caledonia, Mich. (East Kentwood HS), junior John Herbert if Culver, Ind. (Culver Academies), sophomore Andrew Nichols of Traverse City, Mich. (Traverse City West HS), junior Anthony Palazzolo of Warren, Mich. (DeLaSalle HS), junior Ben Rosema of Spring Lake, Mich. (Spring Lake HS), sophomore Aaron Van Andel of Ada, Mich. (Grand Rapids Christian HS), and sophomore Travis Verhey of Luling, La. (Hahnville HS).
Five of the returning players were named to the 2007-08 MIAA Academic Honor Roll - Daniel Glaser, Kevin McMahon, Andrew Nichols, Ausable Schwiebert, and John Turner.
The Flying Dutchmen will open their season hosting the Cal Bergsma Memorial Tournament on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 29-30. The team will then play six consecutive road games before returning home a month later.