Four Named All-Americans, Seven Named All-Region
Seattle Pacific women's soccer players Makena Rietz (No. 17), Sophia Chilczuk (third from right) and Madison Ibale (second from right, holding trophy) were all named 2021 All-Americans.
Seattle Pacific women's soccer players Makena Rietz (No. 17), Sophia Chilczuk (third from right) and Madison Ibale (second from right, holding trophy) were all named 2021 All-Americans.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

PORTLAND, Ore. – The postseason flurry of accolades awarded by the Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association (D2CCA) and United Soccer Coaches proved what GNAC fans already know – the talent in the conference stacks up against anywhere else in Division II.

Three players – all from Seattle Pacific – were named First-Team All-Americans, with GNAC Player of the Year Makena Rietz and GNAC Defensive Player of the Year Madison Ibale each honored by D2CCA while GNAC Championships MVP Sophia Chilczuk was named a first-teamer by the United Soccer Coaches. The D2CCA named Chilczuk a Third-Team All-American, while Rietz and Western Washington’s Tera Ziemer earned Second-Team All-American honors from the coaches.

After completing a breakout season with 13 goals and excelling on both ends of the pitch, Rietz earned one First-Team and one Second-Team selection. The senior midfielder was previously named GNAC Player of the Year and the D2CCA West Region Player of the Year. Rietz was the offensive leader of an SPU attack that ranks eighth in Division II with 2.91 goals per game, but also frequently pressured opposing strikers on defense as a ball-winning midfielder. Her seven game-winning goals ranked fifth in Division II.

Ibale was the defensive stalwart for a Falcons back line that had the sixth-best goals against average mark in Division II at 0.492. Led by Ibale, SPU allowed 11 goals in 22 matches and did not concede multiple goals in a single match this season. Ibale completed the year logging 1,899 minutes at center back.

Chilczuk, the other double All-American honoree, led Division II with 17 assists, which also set a GNAC single-season record. She also scored six goals to lead the conference and rank 37th in Division II with 29 points. She was named the GNAC Championships MVP after recording four assists in two matches at the conference tournament.

Ziemer earned her second-team United Soccer Coaches nod on the back of a six-goal, six-assist season after transferring from Division I Texas A&M. With her 5-foot-10 frame in central midfield, Ziemer excelled at hold-up play to retain possession or ignite the Vikings’ counter-attack.

Nine GNAC players earned a mention on the United Soccer Coaches All-Region teams that were released a day before the All-Americans were announced, with seven on the first team. Aside from the four players mentioned above, a trio of Western Washington players got All-West Region nods: goalkeeper Natalie Dierickx, defender Makenzie Burks and midfielder Darby Doyle. Dierickx stopped 81 percent of shots she faced while allowing just 0.82 goals per game with help from Burks, who also contributed six assists offensively as a set-piece taker. Doyle, a well-rounded midfielder with several defensive responsibilities for the Vikings, also got forward for four goals and five assists during the season.

A fourth Viking, forward Jenna Killman, and Northwest Nazarene forward Madison Grande each landed on the second team. Killman and Grande tied for second in the GNAC with nine regular-season goals, but Killman took advantage of WWU’s extra games and got hot towards the end of the year, scoring three times in the GNAC Championships and twice in the NCAA tournament to finish with a league-high 14.

The D2CCA All-Region list released on November 23 closely aligns with the United Soccer Coaches selections, with all except Dierickx also appearing on that team.