METUCHEN, NJ – Grand Valley State University captured their sixth NCAA Division II National Championship in program history with a 1-0 win over Western Washington University at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA. Eight Lakers are United Women’s Soccer (UWS) alumnae, led by the 2019 Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) Ron Lenz National Player of the Year Riko Sagara (Grand Rapids FC). Sagara is a two-time UWS All-Midwest honoree (2017 & 2019) for GRFC Women while she was an All-UWS selection for Lansing United in 2018.
The Tokyo, Japan-native was also named to the United Soccer Coaches (USC) All-American First Team as she led the nation in assists (23) for the second season in a row while also ranking second in points (61). Riko is one dime away from matching the GVSU all-time single season record set by her Grands Rapids FC team mate Marti Corby. Her 2019 All-America status makes her four-for-four in All-America accolades for her outstanding collegiate career. Sagara scored the game-winning goal in overtime for the GRFC Women in the 2017 UWS National Championship.
Seven other UWS stars suited up for GVSU this fall. Defender Sydney O’Donnell (Michigan Legends) was also named a D2CCA All-American alongside Sagara and was instrumental in forming one of the best defenses in the country. The Lakers led Division II with 18 shutouts while holding the second-best goals-against average in the nation (0.33) entering the Final Four. 2018 Midwest Conference Defensive Player of the Year Olivia Trombley (Lansing United) played in 21 matches for the Lakers this fall. Trombley played every minute of every match for Lansing in 2018, leading them to the regular season title in their first-ever season. Darline Radamaker (Detroit Sun), Abby Willerer (Michigan Legends), Amelia Wampler (Indiana Union), Callie Rich (AFC Ann Arbor) and Timia Robinson (Lansing United) round out the UWS alumnae on the GVSU squad.