Contact: Mark Albanese, Director of Sports Communication
HILLSBORO, Ore. -The Northwest Conference Champion Pacific Lutheran University women's soccer team hauled in two of the conference's four postseason awards on Wednesday while nine student-athletes tallied All-NWC accolades. Machaela Graddy was named NWC Offensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season while Head Coach Seth Spidahl was named the NWC Coach of the Year for the second straight year and the third time in his career.
Graddy additionally earned First Team All-NWC accolades along with Rachel Ross, Leah Magee, Hailey Smoot, and Kaylie Rozell. Natalie Robinson, Kristi Kaneta, and Liz Griffith secured Second Team All-NWC while Brianna Hunting landed Honorable Mention All-NWC.
Machaela Graddy earns NWC Offensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season and All-NWC accolades for the third time in her career after leading the NWC in both assists (nine) and points (29), while ranking second in the conference in goals (10). The forward from Eatonville, Washington tallied three game-winning goals for the Lutes (16-3-1, 13-2-1) with two of those coming in Northwest Conference play.
Rachel Ross secures a spot on the First Team for the first time in her career. The defender from Gig Harbor, Washington played in all 20 games this season and started 18 of them. The junior helped anchor a defensive backline that posted 16 shutouts on the season and yielded just four goals all year, including 13 clean sheets in NWC play. Ross finished with one goal on the season, finding the back of the net in a 5-0 victory over Pacific University on Oct. 13.
Leah Magee lands First Team honors for the first time in her career. The midfielder from Olympia, Washington played in 17 of the Lutes' 20 games this fall, finishing second on the team in both goals (seven), and points (15). The sophomore paced the team with four game-winning goals, including a hat-trick in a 3-0 victory over Franklin & Marshall College to open the season.
Hailey Smoot earns a spot on the All-NWC team for the third time in her career. Smoot was a First Team honor in 2017 and 2015 while earning Second Team honors in 2016. The midfielder from Puyallup, Washington played in all 20 games for PLU this fall, making 18 starts and provided the game-winning goal against Linfield College on Oct. 15.
Kaylie Rozell tallies First Team All-NWC honors for the fourth time in her career. Rozell previously earned the accolade in 2016, 2014, and 2013. The forward from Sumner, Washington played in all 20 games for the Lutes, finishing second on the team in assists (six) and fourth in both goals (three) and points (12). Rozell tallied three game-winning goals, netting the decisive score in NWC matches against Pacific University, Whitworth University, and George Fox University.
Natalie Robinson nabs Second Team All-Conference laurels for the first time in her career. The goalkeeper from Seattle, Washington produced 16 shutouts on the season, ranking second nationally in save percentage (.917) and third in NCAA Division III in goals against average (0.20). Robinson's 16 clean sheets currently sits tied for third most in PLU single season history while the junior is currently on pace to set a school record for single season goals against average.
Kristi Kaneta lands Second Team All-League for the first time in her career. The defender and Honolulu, Hawaii native appeared in all 20 games this season, making 19 starts. Kaneta helped anchor a defensive unit that ranks fourth in the nation in both goals against average (0.20) and shutout percentage (0.800).
Liz Griffith secures Second Team All-NWC for the second consecutive season. The midfielder from Puyallup, Washington finished third on the team in goals (four), assists (five), and points (13). Griffith appeared in 17 games this season and provided game-winning goals against both Willamette University and Lewis & Clark College.
Brianna Hunting earns Honorable Mention All-NWC of the first time in her career. The defender and Kennewick, Washington native played in all 20 games for the Lutes, making 19 starts. The sophomore helped the Lute defense collect 16 shutouts on the season and help PLU finish the season a perfect 10-0 at home at East Field.
Seth Spidahl earns NWC Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season and the third time in the past four seasons. Spidahl previously secured the award in 2016 and 2014. Under his leadership, the Lutes secured the NWC title and an NCAA Division III Tournament berth for the second consecutive season, outscoring opponents by a 36-4 margin. Spidahl has built a budding dynasty in Tacoma since taking over in 2012, owning an impressive 78-21-20 record in his six years at the helm.
The Lutes open up the NCAA Division III Tournament on Saturday night, facing Whittier College at 8 p.m. in Thousand Oaks, California.