Freeland, Mich. - The Alma College women's soccer team has had four of its members named to the All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association teams, the conference announced on Thursday (Oct. 31). Makenzie Rajewski (Midland, Mich. / Midland) and Lily Stephan (Williamston, Mich. / Williamston) were voted to the First Team and Lexi Russell (DeWitt, Mich. / DeWitt) and Dakota Booher (Mason, Mich.) earned spots on the Second Team.
Rajewski is tied for the team lead with five goals this year. Two of her goals proved to be game-winners. She also scored Alma's first hat trick since 2014 in a 3-1 victory over Trine and was subsequently named the MIAA Offensive Athlete of the Week. This is the second time Rajewski has been named to the All-Conference team, earning Second-Team recognition as a freshman in 2017.
"Kenz is our most athletic and versatile player, having experienced virtually all positions this season," said Gorsuch. "Battling through mid-season injury, she is tough-minded and her work rate is unmatched. Her pace and ball-winning abilities make Kenz a threat to any opponent. Beyond that, Kenz works very hard in the weight room and has stuck the course after receiving MIAA honors her freshman year but not her sophomore year. She is a leader by example of perseverance and grit through all scenarios without any loss of enthusiasm."
Stephan, a freshman forward, leads the team in points and is tied for seventh in the MIAA with 14 points (five goals, four assists). She has taken 75 shots – the most in the league – 31 of which were on goal.
"With five goals, four assists and Offensive Athlete of Week 9 on her freshman season resume, Lily has been essentially a 90-minute player for us this entire season," said Head Coach Meghan Gorsuch. "She is known for holding the ball and dicing players to find space with her outstanding technical abilities, even if that space seems impossibly small. She a massive threat to any defensive line she comes in contact with. A guaranteed on every opponent's scouting report, she now leads the team in assists as she is oftentimes double-teamed, opening up her teammates for goal scoring opportunities rather than herself – which is why you see 11 different goal scorers for the program this season. Lily leads the league in shots taken and has kicked off her career here very well."
Russell leads the Scots in goals with six, two of which were game-winners. She has taken 39 shots, nearly half of which were on goal, and was Alma's first MIAA Women's Soccer Athlete of the Week honoree this season.
"With six goals (two game-winners) and Offensive Player of Week 2 honors, Lexi leads our program with goals scored this season," said Gorsuch. "Beyond her statistics, Lexi came in extremely fit and has given 90 minutes as a center midfielder in nearly every game for us this year. Often times silent but deadly, she is our most consistent player in terms of her understanding and application in the game. She knows where she needs to be and when, she is technical and she can keep the ball in most scenarios. She is smart, athletic and very dangerous as she can assess very efficiently when to drive to goal herself or be a playmaker to her teammates instead. Without her, our full picture and style of play are simply incomplete. She is a true competitor and a great teammate."
Booher started all 16 games at center back as a freshman. She is part of a back line that allowed the fourth-fewest goals on average in the conference this season and had five clean sheets. Booher also scored one goal, off a free kick against top-seeded Adrian.
"With one goal and one assist on the season, Dakota is a 90-minute true center back and the best our program has seen since 2012 in the defensive line," said Gorsuch. "Her understanding of the position and her distribution skills allow her to shine and oftentimes, she begins our stretches of possession and build up. Her ability to ping long balls with precision is dangerous in moments of transition and her directional first touches, especially out of the air, are show-stopping. Dakota possesses a threatening nature on all free kicks and set pieces she is a part of. She has grown in confidence and as a leader on the field as the season has gone on and we expect big things from her in her years to come."