ALLENDALE, Mich. — The most successful season in the history of Ohio Dominican women's soccer came to a close on a rainy Sunday afternoon at the GVSU Soccer Field, as the Panthers fell to No. 4 Grand Valley State by a final mark of 4-0 in a 2017 NCAA Division II women's soccer championship Midwest region semifinal.
Ohio Dominican (16-5-2, 11-2-1 G-MAC) won a program-high 16 matches in 2017 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship for the first time in the program's second appearance in the big dance.
GVSU put 16 shots on goal, with junior keeper Marissa Wierzbicki (Powell, Ohio) stopping 10 of them, a career-high. Senior Alli Pavlik (Cortland, Ohio), sophomore Cheyenne Story (Canfield, Ohio) and freshman Samantha Buck (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) notched shots on goal for Ohio Dominican.
Grand Valley State's Ava Cook scored the first goal of the match on a left-footed shot to the far-right side of the net to take a 1-0 lead over Ohio Dominican in the 12th minute.
Trailing 1-0 in the 30th minute, ODU was called for a foul in the box, but Wierzbicki made a spectacular, diving save to stop the penalty kick and keep the deficit at 1-0.
But Mencotti, 2016 D2CCA Player of the Year, scored a spectacular goal from 25 yards out in the 38th minute to allow the Lakers to take a 2-0 lead through the first half. Mencotti added another goal in the 48th minute and Steinwascher scored for the Lakers in the 60th minute on a corner kick to give GVSU a 4-0 lead, which it maintained for the final 30 minutes of the match.
Numerous marks were set by ODUWS this season. Senior Lauren Bates (Hilliard, Ohio), Wierzbicki and freshman Lindsay Buten (Cincinnati, Ohio) were all named Great Midwest Athletic Conference first team, with senior Alli Pavlik (Cortland, Ohio) also garnering second team honors. Bates, Pavlik and sophomore Becca Gordon (Johnstown, Ohio) all scored nine goals or more, marking the second time three ODU women's soccer student-athletes scored nine goals in a single season. Bates, Pavlik and Wierzbicki also recently earned CoSIDA Academic All-District first team distinction.
With 52 goals on the year, Ohio Dominican notched its second-highest goal total for a single season and most in the program's NCAA Division II era. The 2017 season marked the 10th time in the last 11 years that the program reached the 10-win mark in a year and represented the 15th winning season in just 18 years of program history.
Bates finished with the third-highest goal total in a single season in ODUWS history, finding the back of the net 15 times this year. Pavlik departs the program after tallying 11 goals in 2017 and finishes with 30 career goals, third-most in program history. Seniors Brooke Ringel (Columbus, Ohio) and Kelsey Harris (Mason, Ohio) will depart after combining to play in 65 matches and helping the program achieve 58 wins in their time at ODU.
Thirteen student-athletes that started for Ohio Dominican in 2017 will have the opportunity to return next season, including Gordon and Wierzbicki, who both earned all-conference honors in the Great Midwest.
No. 4 Grand Valley State moves on to face Quincy in the NCAA Midwest region final next week.
Contact: Aaron McPherson