Coming off a school-record winning season, the 2002 Hope College men's soccer team should again be in the thick of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) race.
Before launching into conference play, the Flying Dutchmen will play in three consecutive weekend tournaments beginning August 30-31 at Anderson, Ind. Hope will meet Thomas More, Ky. in their season opener on Friday followed by a game against host Anderson on Saturday. Hope will co-host with Calvin its Cal Bergsma Memorial Tournament on Sept. 6-7. The Dutchmen and Knights will exchange opponents (Concordia, Wisc. and Wisconsin-Oshkosh). The third tournament will be at Ohio Northern on Sept. 13-14. The MIAA opener will be against rival Calvin on Sept. 18.
In 2001 coach Steve Smith's Flying Dutchmen tied a Hope single season record for victories, finishing with a 16-3 record behind 13 shutouts. The Dutchmen finished second in the conference standings with an 8-3-1 record.
Coach Smith, who begins his 13th season at the helm of the team, has a nucleus of 16 returning letterwinners. Tri-captains are seniors Tim Kelly of Kalamazoo, Mich. (Hackett HS), Matt Margaron of Naperville, Ill., and Marcus Voss of Holland, Mich. (Zeeland HS).
Leading the returnees are three players who achieved All-MIAA recognition in 2001. Voss, the team's goalkeeper, is a two-time all-league first team honoree who also received NCAA Division III All-America recognition. Junior forward Ed Huebner of Portage (Portage Northern HS) also received All-MIAA first team recognition while Margaron, a back, was a second team honoree. Ed Huebner led the team in scoring (12 goals) and assists (8).
Other returning letterwinners include sophomore Tyler Basler of Auburn, Mich. (Bay City Western HS), sophomore John Boote of Holland, Mich. (Holland HS), senior Adam Chaffee of Portage, Mich. (Portage Northern HS), sophomore Todd Chappa of Portage, Mich. (Portage Northern HS), senior Travis Jonker of Petoskey, Mich. (Petoskey HS), junior Steve Lepper of Midland, Mich. (Dow HS), senior Bryant Loomis of Fredonia, N.Y. (Fredonia HS), junior Kyle Nevenzel of Holland, Mich. (Holland HS), sophomore Michael Parker of Midland, Mich. (Dow HS), junior Eric Plewka of Whitehall, Mich. (Whitehall HS), junior Chris Sterling of Montego Bay, Jamaica (Cornwall HS), and junior Aaron Viles of Montague, Mich. (Montague HS).
Four returning players received MIAA Player of the Week honors in 2001 -- Ed Huebner (twice), Bryant Loomis, Matt Margaron and Marcus Voss.