Efforts of Onderlinde and Dyk propell Knights

By Ben Fredrickson

Staff Writer

Glancing through the various stats categories of the Calvin women's soccer team, two names kept appearing over and over again: Tricia Dyk and Larissa Onderlinde. The leaders in goals and assists, respectively, the two teammates at the forward position combined for an astonishing 47 goals and 26 assists over the course of the season. They led Calvin to a 15-5-0 finish overall (11-3-0 in conference play, second in MIAA) under first-year coach Mark Recker.

When asked about Recker, both players agreed that playing for him was a positive experience this year, and that he was a major factor in leading the Knights to their successful season. Dyk said, ``He's the reason we had such a great year.'' Onderlinde stated that Recker knew what he was doing, and that he is a ``fun person.'' Onderlinde also commented that the only difficulties with a first-year coach were those normally encountered when getting to know a person for the first time.

Asked about the sometimes lackluster fan-support the team might receive from Calvin students, both Onderlinde and Dyk emphatically agreed that this is not the reason they play. Onderlinde called the lack of support ``no big deal'' and pointed out that friends and family members are always there to cheer at games. Dyk says she plays for the love of the game, although she acknowledges the obvious (and unfortunate) disparity in fan support of men's versus women's teams at Calvin.

In addition to playing soccer, Dyk and Onderlinde must balance busy academic and social lives. Onderlinde admitted that it can be difficult to get all her schoolwork done at times, but that she usually balances athletics and learning well enough. She added wryly, ``Soccer becomes your social life.'' Dyk said that participating in a sport actually helps her to be more organized, and that she finds herself wasting time when she is not involved in a sport.

Balancing sports and school becomes even more of a challenge for Dyk, who is in the rather unusual position of being a two-sport athlete at Calvin--she is also a member of the women's basketball team. Although she has been successful in both sports, Dyk says that soccer is definitely her favorite. In the past she has concentrated more on soccer during off-season training, but this year she has also worked hard at basketball in order to become more of an offensive threat on the team. Dyk also tried to train more for basketball during this past soccer season, something she has not done as much of in the past.

Dyk led the MIAA in both goals scored (21) and points (52), and was named the MIAA Most Valuable Player. Her athletic goals include moving beyond conference play in the NCAA soccer play-offs, and beating Albion College. In the future, Dyk plans on continuing to play soccer with the GR United soccer team, a team that is currently working on achieving semi-professional status. On the team she joins her sister Tara Dyk, a former Calvin player and also a league MVP.

Playing her last season at Calvin, Onderlinde led the Knights with 14 assists, first in the MIAA, matching Calvin's single season record set by Tracy Veurink in 1990. Onderlinde is from Kalamazoo, MI, where she grew up playing soccer, and attended Kalamazoo Christian High School. She says she chose Calvin College because it is a Christian school, and because it is close to home. She hopes to continue playing soccer in the future in recreational leagues. A senior biology major, Onderlinde plans to go on to physical therapy school after graduation.