BAY CITY, Mi. GLIAC – The 2018 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Women's Soccer awards have been announced after voting conducted by the league's coaches.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
A first-year transfer from Martin Methodist, Grand Valley State junior Riko Sagara has made an immediate impact on the GVSU offense. Her 15 assists in the regular season lead the entire nation which, combined with seven goals, gives her 29 points from her attacking midfielder position; the second most in the GLIAC this season. Sagara had four assists in the Lakers 10-0 win over Purdue Northwest, matching the program single-game record. Her ability to strike from long-range makes her a dangerous weapon on set pieces and her vision and creativity turn even the most mundane of possessions into scoring opportunities in a snap. Sagara helped GVSU to a league-best 59 assists and 63 goals on the year, helping the nationally top-ranked Lakers to be a mainstay in the Division II top-10 in scoring offense throughout the year.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Following all-region honors in her freshman campaign, Grand Valley State sophomore Cecilia Steinwascher continues to be a dominant force for the Laker back line in her sophomore season. The Sterling Heights, Michigan native rotated between center back and holding midfielder throughout the year, two crucial positions in the GVSU defensive scheme, to help the Lakers dominate possession and scoring opportunities. GVSU conceded just five goals in the regular season, entering post-season play with the third-lowest goals against average in the nation (.271). Steinwascher's one-on-one defending, strength on the ball and tackling ability make her the dominating force on a top defense in the country.
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Grand Valley State's Madeline Becker becomes the second straight Laker to earn GLIAC Freshman of the Year honors. Her 10 goals on the season were second in the GLIAC while her 23 points were tied for fifth. Becker went on a tear in September, scoring in four straight matches – including three in a row with multiple goals – capped by her first career hat-trick in the first half of a 10-0 win over Purdue Northwest. The Ada, Michigan native started just one of the Lakers first five matches before becoming a constant in the starting XI over the next 12 contests. Her ability to grow and adapt to the college game has been crucial for a Laker offense that had to replace three regularly contributing forwards from a year ago, including two-time National Player of the Year Gabriella Mencotti.
GOALKEEPER OF THE YEAR
Ashland University sophomore Hannah Lee has a 0.81 goals against average in 13 games this season, ranking third in the GLIAC in that category. She has a save percentage of 81.7 and is 7-2-4 on the season. Lee has kept four shutouts this season and started two other games in which the Eagles did not allow a goal. She has 49 saves in total and has a 7-2-4 record as the Eagles' keeper. Lee made a season-high eight saves in a 2-2 tie at Ferris State on Sept. 28. She also was a part of four clean sheets in a five-game stretch in September as Ashland started the season on an 11-game unbeaten run. Lee is the first AU keeper to be named GLIAC Goalkeeper of the Year since the award was started in 2013.
COACH OF THE YEAR
In a season where there could be plenty of excuses for the GVSU Lakers regressing, instead they took a step forward. Fifth-year GVSU head coach Jeff Hosler was able to take a roster that lost 14 players from a year ago and a 2018 team consisting of mostly freshmen and sophomores to the team's first undefeated regular season since 2013 and a national No. 1 ranking for the first time in two years. Bringing in some key transfers and back-to-back stout recruiting classes, Hosler found the formula to reload the Laker squad to a 17-0-1 overall record perfect 9-0-0 GLIAC mark for their 14th consecutive regular season title. This is the second straight GLIAC Coach of the Year honor for Hosler and his second in his five years at the helm of the five-time national champions, proving the national prowess of Grand Valley State is safe and secure under the direction of Hosler and his staff.
A complete list of the 2018 All-GLIAC women's soccer teams is below:
2018 All-GLIAC Women's Soccer - First Team
All-GLIAC First Team - Forwards
Name School Year Hometown
Ava Cook Grand Valley State So. Battle Creek, Mich.
Valentina Giambanco Saginaw Valley Jr. Shelby Township, Mich.
Pia Nagel Ferris State Fr. Karlsruhe, Germany
All-GLIAC First Team - Midfielders
Riko Sagara Grand Valley State Jr. Tokyo, Japan
Bri Rogers Ferris State So. Livonia, Mich.
Molly Vanderhoff Saginaw Valley Jr. Sterling Heights, Mich.
Tara Lierman Grand Valley State Sr. Holt, Mich.
All-GLIAC First Team - Defenders
Cecilia Steinwascher Grand Valley State So. Sterling Heights, Mich.
Tia VanSuilichem Ferris State Jr. Caledonia, Mich.
Sydney Wright Ashland R-Jr. Hilliard, Ohio
All-GLIAC First Team - Goalkeeper
Hannah Lee Ashland So. Westlake, Ohio
2018 All-GLIAC Women's Soccer - Second Team
All-GLIAC Second Team - Forwards
Madeline Becker Grand Valley State Fr. Ada, Mich.
Grace Shaw Michigan Tech Fr. Green Bay, Wis.
Carley Dubbert Ferris State Sr. St. Joseph, Mich.
All-GLIAC Second Team - Midfielders
Caroline Halonen Northern Michigan Fr. Hartland, Mich.
Darline Radamaker Grand Valley State Fr. Sterling Heights, Mich.
Bella Petrock Ashland Fr. Saline, Mich.
All-GLIAC Second Team - Defenders
Madz Ham Grand Valley State Sr. Lake Orion, Mich.
Rachel Wall Michigan Tech Sr. Eagan, Minn.
Jennifer Muana Saginaw Valley Jr. Windsor, Ont.
Maddie Dickens Ferris State So. DeWitt, Mich.
All-GLIAC Second Team - Goalkeeper
Alison Chesterfield Ferris State Jr. South Elgin, Ill.
2018 All-GLIAC Women's Soccer - Honorable Mention
Tori Baker Ashland Fr. Wadsworth, Ohio
Roheema Bennett Davenport R-Jr. St. Elizabeth, Jamaica
Abigail Gilmore Ferris State So. Lansing, Mich.
Sydney O'Donnell Grand Valley State So. Novi, Mich.
Amanda Young Michigan Tech So. Grand Rapids, Mich.
Gaelin Hirabayashi Northern Michigan Jr. Ijamsville, Md.
Bridget Adams Northwood So. Linden, Mich.
Shayna Coy Purdue Northwest Sr. Fort Wayne, Ind.
Lindsay Stroebel Saginaw Valley Sr. Freeland, Mich.
Chloe Couves Parkside Sr. Ankeny, Iowa
Grace Shaw, a freshman from Green Bay, Wisconsin, powered the Huskies' revamped offense with nine goals while adding eight assists in her first season of collegiate soccer. She also wrapped up the season with a team high 26 points and four of her goals were game winners in 2018. Through the quarterfinals of the GLIAC Tournament, Shaw is tied for second in total assists while tying for third in total goals and total points.
Shaw etched her name in the Tech school record books as well this year. Shaw had the second most points in a single season, tied for the second most assists in a single year, and tied for third for most goals in one season. In addition, she tied a school record for most assists in a contest with two against Northern Michigan in the regular season finale. The school records for single season assists stands at nine (Lexi Herrewig), goals at 13 (Lexi Herrewig), and points 31 (Lexi Herrewig).
Rachel Wall, a senior from Eagan, Minnesota, helped the Huskies record seven shutouts this year while limiting opponents to just 18 goals in 17 total matches. The Huskies ranked fourth in the GLIAC in total shutouts through the quarterfinal round of the tournament. During her career, Wall has created havoc for opposing offenses and has been an integral part of a Huskies defense that ranks as one of the best in the GLIAC and nation each season. Wall was a 2017 All-GLIAC Honorable Mention honoree and has been selected to the GLIAC Academic All-Excellence Team each of the last two years.
Amanda Young, a sophomore from Grand Rapids, Michigan, recorded all 10 wins for the Huskies in front of the net this season. Young started all 17 contest for the Huskies in 2018 on her way to four complete shutouts, three shared shutouts, and 73 total savesl. Young matched a career high with a season best 10 saves in a 2-1 win at Winona State on September 9th. Young limited opponents to just 1.08 goals per game and through the quarterfinal round of the GLIAC Tournament, ranks third in the conference in total saves. Her save percentage is fifth best in the conference at .811.
The Huskies wrapped up the season with an overall record of 10-6-1 and finished fourth in the GLIAC standings thanks to a conference mark of 5-4.
Leading the team in nearly every offensive category this season, Caroline Halonen netted nine goals and added six assists to total 24 points in 2018. All three totals were the most for a Wildcats since the 2014 season, while her goal and assists totals were in the top-five of the conference.
Halonen was named GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week earlier this season on September 17 after recording six goal, three assists, and 16 points in three matches. In one of the three contests, Halonen tied the program record of four goals in a match and set the record for points in match with nine.
Helping to anchor the Wildcat defense, Gaelin Hirabayashi was one of three NMU defenders to appear in every match this season. She helped improve the team goals against average in 2018 to 1.48 and also added one goal. NMU held their opponents scoreless in three contests and allowed just one goal on six more occasions.
The Wildcats improved statistically on both the offensive and defensive ends in 2018 with a young roster. Through the first 10 matches of the season, NMU had their best start since 2011 and eventually matched their final record from last season.