Archived Voice Articles
Despite a disappointing loss on October 18 that took the Dordt College Defenders out of the playoff hunt in men's soccer, the Defenders took two wins at the end of the season to close their 2003 campaign under first-year head coach Craig Stiemsma with a 7-10 mark. Of the ten losses, four were by one goal and three more were by two goals. The seven wins matched the 2002 win total.
Finishing 4-7 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference, the Defenders had three players named All Conference honorable mention.
Matt Ruter, a senior from Sioux Center and a mainstay in the Dordt College defense, earned the honor this season along with NAIA scholar athlete honors for the second time while majoring in engineering.
Mike Oppeneer, a freshman forward from Hingham, Wisconsin, was the leading scorer for the Defenders with 11 goals and three assists for a team high of 25 points. Kyle Van Andel, a junior midfielder from Lynden, Washington, completed the list of conference honors after scoring three goals and setting up seven others with assists. Van Andel also earned scholar athlete status while majoring in Systems Administration/Computer Science.
Two other Defenders were named scholar athletes by the NAIA: Travis De Jong and Ben Ribbens. De Jong is a senior engineering major from Sioux Center, and Ribbens is a junior theology major from Pella, Iowa.
NAIA scholar athletes must be nominated by their coach, make significant contributions to their team, be a junior or senior and hold at least a 3.5 grade point average.