D2CCA -- For the second straight season, Grand Valley State forward Gabriella Mencotti has been named the D2CCA Women's Soccer Player of the Year. Mencotti also earns first team All-America honors, joined by junior midfielder Tara Lierman and freshman defender Cecilia Steinwascher. Midfielder Dani Johnson earned second team All-America honors and senior defender Shannon Quinn was named to the third team. The Lakers had five players earn first team all-region honors, which qualifies players for All-America voting, and all five earned All-America status. The Lakers have had 55 D2CCA All-Americans since 2006.
This is the third straight year the Lakers have boasted the D2CCA Player of the Year. Marti Corby earned the honor in 2015 before Mencotti took home the hardware in each of the last two seasons. Mencotti led the nation in goals (30) and points (70) for the 2017 season, leading the Lakers to a ninth straight Elite 8 appearance. Mencotti, who played in and started more matches than any Laker in program history, sees her illustrious career comes to a close as the second all-time leading scorer (85) at GVSU as well as second in total points (203), third in game-winning goals (22), and third in assists (43). Mencotti is a two-time United Soccer Coaches first team All-American and was voted HERO Sports Player of the Year in 2017. At the conference level, Mencotti was named GLIAC Offensive Player of the Year and first team All-GLIAC while also earning GLIAC Tournament MVP honors. CoSIDA named her to the Scholar All-District team and will have a chance for All-America status when the teams are announced later this week.
Steinwascher is the only freshman on the first team for 2017 after a stellar campaign on the defensive end. Not only was she a force at center back, she was also the regular inserter on set pieces in the offensive end. She finished with four goals, including a pair of game winners, and seven assists and was named to the All-GLIAC second team. Lierman broke out in her junior campaign, with 13 goals and eight assists, finishing third on the team in total points (34) behind only Mencotti and forward Ava Cook. Johnson was the GLIAC Defensive Player of the Year as a dominant holding midfielder with great tackling and ball skills that proved vital to the Lakers aggressive defensive strategy. Quinn was a starting center back in all 24 matches for the Lakers and another key piece of a defense that pitched 17 shutouts in 2017.
The Lakers won their 13th straight GLIAC regular season title and 11th consecutive tournament title. Their quest for a ninth straight Final Four appearance was denied in an Elite 8 loss to the eventual National Champion Jennies of Central Missouri, who finished the year undefeated.