GLIAC -- The Division II College Commissioners Association and United Soccer announced their 2018 Women's Soccer All-America teams. Grand Valley State junior Riko Sagara and sophomore Cecilia Steinwasher made the first team on both lists.
GVSU sophomore Ava Cook made the CCA All-America Second Team and the United Soccer Coaches Third Team. Senior teammate Tara Lierman was a United Soccer Coaches Second Team and CCA Third Team pick.
Sagara, the D2CCA Midwest Region Player of the Year and GLIAC Offensive Player of the Year, leads the nation with 22 assists to go along with 11 goals for 44 points on the year. The attacking midfielder is two assists shy of the GVSU all-time single season record. The junior transfer from Martin Methodist was a two-time NAIA All-American with the Redhawks and now, in her first season in Allendale, has a chance for a third straight All-America nod.
Steinwascher was the GLIAC Defensive Player of the Year and a D2CCA first team All-Region selection. Her leadership at center back helped the Laker defense remain in the national top 5 in scoring defense all season long. GVSU, currently second in the country with a 0.31 goals against average, has conceded just eight goals to this point and limited their opponents to just 98 shots. For perspective, the Lakers have taken 636 shots of their own this season.
Lierman has been crucial in the Laker midfield, serving as the all-important holding midfielder that serves as the glue in the GVSU possession-minded strategy. An attacking mid for most of her career, the Holt, Michigan native made the transition to a more defensive-minded spot for her senior year. Despite her primary responsibilities on the defensive end, Lierman has still been able to provide some offense of her own this season, scoring nine goals and notching seven assists.
Cook has been one of the most dominant players in the country throughout the 2018 post-season. After 13 goals in the regular season, Cook has erupted for 10 goals in the playoffs, scoring in all but one of the Lakers playoff contests. The All-GLIAC honoree is the league leader in goals (23) and points (51) while dishing out five assists. Her offensive prowess has led the Lakers to most goals scored in all of Division II with 96 and a 3.84 scoring average, good for second in the nation.
Information courtesy of gvsulakers.com.