Written by: Ali Holmquist, Sports Information Student Assistant
Alma, Mich. - The Alma College women's lacrosse team ended its 2017 season on Saturday, April 29, with an overall record of 7-7 and 2-6 in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. The Scots had the most victories since the 2014 season under second year head coach, Ashley Johnson. It was announced on May 3rd that senior Darby Kahler (Coldwater, Mich. / Coldwater) and freshman Allie Ray (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y. / Comsewogue) were named members of the All-MIAA Second Team in recognition of each of their successful season.
Three Scots led the team offensively: Kahler, junior Katie Rogers (Farmington Hills, Mich. / Farmington Hills), and junior Shelby Frazer (Holt, Mich. / Holt). Kahler, who tallied 24 goals and added 2 assists, tied Frazier to be the leader in goals and tied Rogers for overall points leader. All three set personal single-season records for goals with 24 for Kahler and Frazier and 14 for Rogers. Frazier added an assist for 25 points this season and had a shot-on-goal percentage of 73.6 percent. She had a single-game career high seven goals against Puget Sound (Feb 28), the most goals made by a single player in a game this season.
Rogers, the team's leader in assists, registered 12 of the Scots' 27 assists for the season, putting her seventh in program's history for assists in a single-season. Against Northland College (March 18), Rogers had career-high three assists while also adding three goals for a game-high six points.
Besides finding the back of the net, Kahler, who was named All-MIAA Second Team as a midfielder, was a pivotal player in draw controls. Kahler collected a team-high in draw controls in seven games this season. She finished seventh in the MIAA with 46 and seeded fourth in the program's single-season record. With a career total of 92, Kahler is fifth in program's history. Kahler ended her collegiate career with one of her most successful seasons, setting new personal single season records in goals, points, ground balls, draw controls and caused turnovers. She leaves her mark on the program by putting herself in the top five for several statistical categories. With 10 free-position goals this season, Kahler finds herself third in program history with 20 in her career. Tying a team-high 20 caused turnovers in 2017, Kahler is fourth in program history for caused turnovers in a single season and in a career with 41.
In addition to Kahler, Ray received All-MIAA honors. Named as the Second Team Goalie, Ray was one of the most successful goalies in the program's history. Finishing the regular season as the league leader with a save percentage of 51.7 percent, Ray had 148 saves and a record of 7-7. Ray was named MIAA Defensive Player of the Week (March 13) after making 15 saves against Illinois Tech (March 7) and then posting a 57.9 save percentage with 11 saves against Concordia University of Chicago (March 12). After one season, Ray set new single-season program records with an average of 10.57 saves per game, a save percentage of 51.7, and 10.38 goals against average.
The Scots had one of their most successful non-conference season going 6-2, their best record since the 2013 season when they went 8-1. Despite a 20-1 loss to open the season against Whitman College, the Scots finished their spring break trip with two thrilling second-half comebacks against Puget Sound (12-11) and Linfield College (5-4). After dropping their home-opener against Illinois Tech (15-4), the Scots downed Concordia University of Chicago 9-8 in overtime. This was the first overtime victory for the Scots since a 16-4 triumph over Olivet College during the inaugural season of 2012. Alma would enter conference play after two more wins on the road against Heidelberg University (14-11) and Carroll University (6-3).
Alma recorded its first MIAA win after rolling past Olivet College 18-1. This was the largest win margin for the Scots since defeating Saint Mary's 24-6 in 2014. Against the Comets, junior Brianna Soriano (San Diego, Cali. / Serra), who missed the first eight games due to an injury, recorded a career-high of 10 ground balls. This puts Soriano in fifth in program history for ground balls in a single-game, just three behind the program's leader.
In its other conference win against Trine University (14-9), Kahler recorded Alma's first man-down goal of the season. This is the Scots' seventh man-down goal in the history of the program. Setting another new program record, the Scots went 10-16 for free-position shots, the most goals in a single game from the eight-meter.
Defensively, the Scots were led by senior Kilee DeBrabander (Marshall, Mich. / Marshall) who picked up 44 ground balls and caused 20 turnovers. DeBrabander, who finished sixth in the league in ground balls, recorded a career-high 12 ground balls against Heidelberg, just one shy of tying the program's record. DeBrabander collected a ground ball in every game this season, one of two players to do so this season. Also against Heidelberg, DeBrabander caused a career-high five turnovers, one short of tying the program's leader Emily Reverman with six in a single-game. DeBrabander tied Kahler for third in program's history with 20 caused turnovers for the season.
Freshman Nikki Reece (Livonia, Mich. / Ladywood) was lost for the season after playing in the team's first seven games. Reece was named the MIAA Defensive Player of the Week (March 6) for her performances against Puget Sound and Linfield. She scored three goals, assisted on two more, picked up four ground balls, won eight draw controls and caused four turnovers in the two wins. After playing just seven games, Reece has already made the top five in three program career records. She is second with 1.57 caused turnovers per game, fifth with 2.43 points per game and also fifth in three draw controls per game on average.
The Scots had many first year players who saw a successful inaugural season. Freshman Mia Harvey (Grand Rapids, Mich. / Forest Hills Northern) scored eight goals and added an assist for a total of nine points. Harvey had a shot-on-goal percentage of 91.3, the highest shot-on-goal percentage amongst players with at least 15 shots. Freshman Olivia Benoit (Grosse Pointe, Mich. / Grosse Pointe North) had the third-most goals on the team with 14, picked up 17 ground balls and went 5-6 for free position shots, a team high percentage of 83.3 percent. A starting defender, freshman Haylee Baetz (Haslett, Mich. / Haslett) picked up 15 ground balls and caused seven turnovers.
In addition to Kahler and DeBrabander, the Scots will also graduate Kaitlyn Urick (Glen Ellyn, Ill. / Glenbrand West) and Miranda Kruse (Ann Arbor, Mich. / Ann Arbor Pioneer). Both were members of the lacrosse team all four years at Alma.
Contact: Zach Russo, Assistant Sports Information Director, (989) 463-7436