WINONA LAKE – In just one year, Grace women’s soccer freshman JJ Aalbue has grabbed the attention of the national soccer community.
Aalbue was honored as the NCCAA National Player of the Year after a record-setting season for the Lady Lancers. The freshman scored 17 goals with 18 assists in 23 games
Aalbue’s 18 assists led all players in the Crossroads League and ranked No. 7 in the NAIA. Additionally, that mark set the program record for most assists in a single season. After just one season, Aalbue already ranks in Grace’s top 10 for career assists.
Aalbue was one of four Lady Lancers to be named NCCAA/USC All-Americans. Hannah Tkacz and Cassidy Wasson were also First Team All-American honorees, and Sacia Hanson was a NCCAA Second Team All-American.
Tkacz and Aalbue were also honorable mention for NAIA All-American. Tkacz was a mainstay for Grace’s defense, helping the Lady Lancers post 10 shutouts for the season. Tkacz, who had a goal and an assist, was one of six players to start all 23 matches.
Wasson and Hanson also started all 23 matches in Grace’s midfield. Wasson had seven goals and five assists while playing in central midfield, and Hanson had two goals and seven assists while playing out wide.
In the classroom, Grace had seven players recognized as NCCAA Scholar-Athletes. Tkacz and Wasson joined Liz Aalbue, Taylor Binkerd, McKenna Cruz, Riley Koch and Liz Van Wormer as Scholar-Athlete recipients.
Aalbue is the second Lady Lancer to be named NCCAA Player of the Year, following Mallory Rondeau’s honor in 2014.