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Nederhoed a Model of Consistency for Calvin Men’s Soccer Program

Sunday, June 02, 2013

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By Mitch Blankespoor

Not many things keep Dan Nederhood off of the soccer field. During his career at Calvin, Nederhoed started 95 of 98 games wearing the maroon and gold. An injury at the start of his sophomore year held Nederhood out of a three-game trip to Rochester, N.Y. 

A graduate of East Kentwood (Mich.) High School, Nederhoed chose Calvin primarily because of the soccer program.

“Bjorn [Hanson] came to several of my games during my senior season,” said Nederhoed.  “After my first meeting with [Chris] Hughes, I made up my mind to come to Calvin.”

Hughes and Hanson were Nederhoed’s coaches for his first three seasons—three very memorable seasons. Calvin advanced to the national finals during Nederhoed’s freshman and junior seasons as well as an elite eight appearance during his sophomore campaign.

“Both of them [Hughes and Hanson] were ‘soccer men’s men’, Nederhoed said.  “Both were incredibly gifted in motivating me and the team throughout my first three years.”

One of the biggest regrets of his career, according to Nederhoed, was coming up one game short of the ultimate goal two separate times. Both times the Knights advanced to the NCAA III national finals, they lost in the championship game.

“It eats me up inside,” said Nederhoed, shortly before the NCAA III Tournament this fall. “After I graduate, I might look back on the two runs to the national championship fondly. Right now, I’m not settling.”

Things changed for Nederhoed and the Calvin College men’s soccer program during his senior season.  Hughes and Hanson left the program, and in came 28 year-old Ryan Souders.  In his first year as head coach, Souders led the Knights to a 16-4-1 record, an MIAA championship and an NCAA III Tournament appearance.

“Dan has been everything we have asked him to be,” Souders said. “We came in and changed some things, and Dan supported us. He has been a blessing to this program.”

Nederhoed exemplifies the true meaning of a student–athlete. During his time at Calvin; he has found harmony in balancing his academics with his athletics.

“There have been so many nights that I have spent doing homework instead of doing something with my friends,” Nederhoed said.

“If there’s one thing my experience at Calvin has taught me, it’s to give everything in everything I do, mentally, physically and spiritually,” said Nederhoed. “I’ve found that if I did not give 100 percent on my homework on a given day, I would not be 100 percent focused in practice or during a game.”

An engineering major, Nederhoed hopes to get a job involved in water transportation and coach soccer at the club or high school level after graduation this May. 

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