By Gina De Haan
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Calvin men's lacrosse team fell to rival Hope College at Zuidema Field by a score of 16-9. Despite a competitive first half that resulted in a 5-5 halftime score, the Dutchmen outscored the Knights 11-4 in the second half to take the conference victory.
The first half of the contest was fast-paced as the score was tied on four separate occasions.
Hope's Zach Weber scored four minutes later to even the score, but Calvin's Joel Schaefer (Clarksville, Md./Annapolis Area Christian) answered with an unassisted goal to give regain the lead for the Knights.
The Dutchmen's Sean Gliebe knotted the score once again, and then Rocco Mularoni capitalized on a last-second goal to give the visitors a 3-2 advantage heading into the second quarter.
Just over two minutes into the second quarter, Mularoni scored Hope's third unanswered goal. A Dutchmen turnover, caused by Noah Nedd (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian), led to a fastbreak Knights' goal by Chris Griffin (Hartland, Mich./Hartland). Austin Bontreger (Fishers, Ind./Heritage Christian) fed Winkler for his second goal of the evening to tie the game at four goals apiece.
Hope retook the lead off a goal by Micah Bieri, but Schaefer scored for the Knights a minute later. The teams headed into halftime with the score locked at five.
After two quarters of play, Hope held a 23-15 shots advantage and a 25-14 ground balls advantage.
Coming out of the break, Hope began to pull away, scoring a trio of goals in under two minutes before Calvin called timeout.
The Knights regathered, as Sparling scored from Bontreger with 9:09 remaining in the third quarter. The scoreboard reading 8-6 in favor of the Dutch.
The Dutchmen offense continued to roll, scoring the next seven goals of the contest to take a commanding 15-6 lead.
Max Foster (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Brother Rice) broke the long Calvin scoreless spell, capitalizing off a feed from Winkler. After another Dutchmen goal, Nedd and Foster both netted unassisted goals to cut the deficit to seven goals before time expired.
Hope outshot the Knights 50-29 in the victory, including a 31-20 shots on goal advantage. The Dutchmen were 30-30 on clears while the Knights were 25-28.
Schaefer, Foster and Winkler each finished with a pair of goals. Winkler, along with Bontreger, led the Knights with two assists apiece. Ethan Brown scooped up seven ground balls on the evening.
Calvin goalie freshman Mitchell Caldwell (East Lansing, Mich./East Lansing) recorded 15 saves in the loss.
The Knights are back in action on Saturday when they host the Trine Thunder. Game time is set for 3:30 p.m.