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2014 Division II Women’s Soccer

Grand Valley State returns to familiar position

Despite advancing to the Division II championship match in five of the last six years, first-year Grand Valley State University coach Jeff Hosler didn’t want his team to talk about being a defending national champion or focusing on a repeat this year. He wanted them to focus on earning it, a lesson the Lakers had learned well.

After entering the postseason as the nation’s 11th-ranked team, Grand Valley State closed out its fourth national title in six years like a champion should. The Lakers grabbed the lead of the championship match in the sixth minute while goalkeeper Andrea Strauss made a career-high seven saves to pull away to a 3-0 victory over Rollins University. It’s a formula Grand Valley State successfully worked all year.

Behind Strauss, who allowed 11 goals all season, the Lakers shut out 14 of 26 opponents, including nine in their final 12 matches. That provided more than enough support for a balanced offense that ranked second nationally with 3.04 goals per game behind freshman Gabriella Mencotti, who led Grand Valley State in goals (16) and was fifth nationally in points (43), and three other Lakers who recorded 10 or more goals.

The combination proved lethal: Grand Valley State went 7-1 against nationally ranked competition and outscored those opponents, 16-4; 19 of the Lakers’ 26 matches were decided by two or more goals. 

The Results

CHAMPIONSHIP
Grand Valley State 3, Rollins 0

SEMIFINALS
Grand Valley State 1, Saint Rose 1 (3-0 PK)
Rollins 1, Colorado Mines 0

ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM:
Cari Smith, Colorado School of Mines
Emily Garnier, Colorado School of Mines
Carmelina Puopolo, Saint Rose
La’Quilla Upton, Saint Rose
Brenna McKee, Rollins College
Taylor Thigpen, Rollins College
Mora Johnson, Rollins College
Jenny Shaba, Grand Valley St.
Marti Corby, Grand Valley St.
Gabriella Mencotti, Grand Valley St.
Andrea Strauss, Grand Valley St.

MOST OUTSTANDING OFFENSIVE PLAYER:
Jenny Shaba, F, Grand Valley State University

MOST OUTSTANDING DEFENSIVE PLAYER:
Andrea Strauss, GK, Grand Valley State University

ELITE 89 HONOREE: Samantha Collin, Rollins

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