Six Hope College men's soccer players have been awarded All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) All-Conference Honors, including four on the first team.
Seniors Jason Muller and Grant Neil and juniors Logan Sikkenga and Tarwo Konbloa all were named first-team selections by MIAA coaches, while junior Cameron Dice and sophomore Ethan Beswick both made the second team.
Muller, a forward from Petoskey (Petoskey HS), also received the Marv Zuidema Award. An award presented for the first time in 1999 in honor of the late Dr. Marvin Zuidema, longtime men's soccer coach and athletic administrator at Calvin College. The recipient is a senior selected for his contributions to team play, leadership qualities, demonstration of ethical virtues and excellence in athletics and academics.
Muller finished second in the MIAA with 28 points in 14 league matches. He had 12 goals and four assists during MIAA play and 15 goals overall.
"Jason was our first 15-goal scorer in a very long time," Hope coach Steven Smith said. "He's been the guy when we needed someone to get the job done. He's been such a stand-up person on the field. Add that to his character off the field, and you have what allowed me to put him up for the Zuidema award."
Neil, a back from Holland (West Ottawa HS), anchored the protection of the Hope's goalies. He also had a team-high six assists and one goal in league play.
"He's an inspirational person, a strong leader," Smith said. "He has been training Toby Blom to be another one of those central back players in the future. He has done a tremendous job of leading our team."
Among the co-captains of the men's soccer team, Muller and Neil are also two-sport athletes — Muller in tennis and Neil in basketball.
Konbloa, a midfielder from Kentwood (East Kentwood HS), recorded four goals and two assists in MIAA action.
"He really anchored our middle," Smith said. "He could dominate out on the field and give guys confidence for how to play under pressure."
Sikkenga, a back from Hudsonville (Hudsonville HS), provided a two-way threat. His career-high six goals for the season all came in league play.
"Logan is a guy who came in his freshman year and didn't get a lot of playing time. But he stayed after practice to work on his footwork," Smith said. "He has continued to do that. You could see him all summer working it, and it paid off, not just for him but the team's sake."
Dice, a forward from Allendale (Hudsonville Unity Christian HS), collected three goals and four assists in MIAA matches. Dice, pictured at right, had the only goal in Hope's shootout win against Calvin in the MIAA Tournament final.
"He's been a clutch player toward the end of the year," Smith said. "He's been an impact goalscorer for us."
Beswick, a goalkeeper from Grand Haven, allowed only 16 goals in 13 MIAA matches.
Beswick, pictured at left, made 60 saves in 1,143 minutes of league action for a 10-2 record.
"He played in a lot of games as a freshman, but swapped roles at the start of the season. Will (Morlock) got injured, and he had to step up his game. He had an incredible league season."