Pre-Season Pick – Calvin;
Entering the season as the 10-time defending Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association champions, the Calvin men’s soccer team is poised for another historic season in 2017.
The Knights reached the NCAA DIII Championship and fell to a powerhouse Tufts team that has lost six to graduation, including two All-Americans.
After posting MIAA regular season and MIAA tournament titles last season the Knights return eight players that received either first or second team All-MIAA honors.
In addition to their standout record on the scoreboard, the Calvin men’s soccer team were awarded the United Soccer Coaches Team Ethics and Sportsmanship Award last season for receiving only five yellow cards in 26 matches played.
All-MIAA first team returnees include senior midfielder Mitch Stark, senior defender Matt Hinds, senior goalkeeper Nate Van Ryn, junior winger Jacob Witte, and junior defender Trent Vegter.
Sophomore winger Ian Adams, senior defender Jay Noyola, and junior striker Bobby McCaw are returning letterwinners that were named to the 2016 All-MIAA second team. Adams was the 2016 MIAA Newcomer of the Year after collecting seven goals and three assists in league play.
McCaw was Calvin’s leading scorer in 2016 with 16 goals, four assists and 26 points. He scored seven of his 16 goals during Calvin’s postseason run through the MIAA and NCAA III Tournaments.
Adams was Calvin’s second leading scorer in 2016 with 12 goals, three assists, and 15 points. Witte was also a scoring threat last year, scoring eight goals and collecting six assists. During the NCAA III Tournament Witte scored a memorable game-winning overtime goal in a 2-1 victory over Messiah College. He was later named to the all-tournament team at the NCAA III Final Four and was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team.
Vegter was also named to the all-tournament team at the NCAA III Final Four and is coming off a standout sophomore campaign last fall.
Calvin is scheduled to open its season September 1st when it hosts Ohio Wesleyan University at Zuidema Field on day one of the Cal Bergsma Memorial Tournament. The 4:00pm contest with the Battling Bishops will renew a long-standing non-conference rivalry that includes several memorable meetings both in the regular season and NCAA III Tournament. Calvin will conclude the Cal Bergsma Tournament – co-hosted by Hope College – with a September 2 match against Lake Forest College at Zuidema Field.
The Knights round out their non-conference schedule in Ohio with a September 8th game at Case Western Reserve and a September 9th match at Oberlin.
Calvin’s double round-robin MIAA conference schedule begins on September 13th at Trine and continues on September 16th when the Knights host rival Hope at 7:00pm at Zuidema Field. The match will be the first-ever men’s soccer game under the newly installed Zuidema Field lights.
Remaining Division3Sports.com Men’s Soccer Top-10
9. Franklin & Marshall
10. St. Thomas