The men’s lacrosse team is in the midst of a record-setting season. They are currently coming off of a nine-game winning streak, eclipsing the previous record by four wins. Junior standout Gunnar Elder (’17) is continuing his prolific career. He set a record against Calvin College for single game goals at Van Andel stadium and is nipping at the heels of his point and goal totals from all of last season.
Elder also finds himself coming off of an insane run of scoring after putting up 29 points in the past three games. Elder now stands as the leading scorer in a season in Hope Lacrosse history with four more regular-season games to play.
After starting 0-3, the Flying Dutchmen have rolled through the middle portion of their season taking down nine teams in a row. They began conference play against Calvin on April 12, demolishing them 17-8 and have swept MIAA play: defeating Adrian College 18-14 and Kalamazoo College 18-2.
“After losing to Millsaps by one in the season opener, we really realized what a young team we have. We realized that we couldn’t close in the tight points of the game. It just comes down to experience; once we got some of those freshmen’s first collegiate games under their belt, it’s been a real eye-opener to see how much potential we have on this team,” Parker Osterink (’16) said.
With the bulk of the MIAA schedule coming up, the team’s confidence could not be higher. “We’re up and coming in the MIAA, we are really excited to take the rest of them on” Osterink said.
The young talent on the team has risen to the occasion of bringing this group into the forefront of MIAA lacrosse. Gino Battaglia (’19) trails Elder for second in team goals with 29 on the season and 15 assists.
Elder, hailing from west Michigan lacrosse hotbed East Grand Rapids, leads Hope and NCAA division III lacrosse in points per game with 7.3 points per game and sits at second in the nation across all divisions with 5.3 goals per game.
The men have just four games remaining before the MIAA tournament all against conference opponents. “Alma is a great team, they will be a challenge but we are confident in our remaining games.” Osterink said. Hope sits tied with Albion College at the top of the conference.
Last season the Dutchmen finished just 2-4 in conference play and missed the conference tournament. Things are looking up this season while the Dutchmen surge towards a strong finish. They return to action with a game against Alma on Wednesday. April 20.