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Sports & Outdoors
Ex-Cruiser Machaela Graddy scores a first for PLU soccer
Thursday, January 19, 2017 10:32 AM
Machaela Graddy (14, with back to camera) and her teammates celebrated after Pacific Lutheran, the Northwest Conference women’s soccer champion, beat Puget Sound in a regular-season match. (Pacific Lutheran University courtesy photo)
Machaela Graddy’s college soccer career continues to blossom at Pacific Lutheran University.
During the Lutes’ 2016 season, Graddy, a former all-state performer at Eatonville High School, became the first PLU player to win the Northwest Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year award in the same season while also being named to the all-conference team.
Graddy, a junior forward, led the conference in goals (13) and points (34) while finishing second to teammate Lena Moreno in assists (eight).
Graddy also paced the conference with six game-winning goals en route to All-NWC honors for the second straight year,
Six of Graddy’s teammates also captured all-conference honors, including goalkeeper Takara Mitsui as Defensive Player of the Year and Seth Spidahl as Coach of the Year.
Mitsui and Graddy were joined by Kelly White, Kaylie Rozell, Lena Moreno, Liz Griffith and Hailey Smoot as all-conference selections.
Graddy and four teammates also were named to the NCAA Division III All-West team by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
PLU, ranked 24th nationally among NCAA Division III teams, bowed out of the NCAA tournament with a 1-0 loss Nov. 12 to Claremont-Mudd Scripps College in Claremont, Calif. It was the Lutes’ only loss in a season that ended with a 16-1-4 record. It was also uncharacteristic for a PLU attack that had averaged about four goals per game in the six matches leading up to the tournament.
In addition to Graddy, the Lutes’ roster includes another former Eatonville High student-athlete -- sophomore midfielder Amber Richards.
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