A look inside the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional

Grand Valley State senior forward Gabriella Mencotti was named the GLIAC Offensive Player of the Year. | Photo courtesy NCAA
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Nov. 8, 2017 2:05 am Updated: Nov. 8, 2017 9:33 am

Here is a look at the teams playing in the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional. Top-seeded Grand Valley State and second-seeded Quincy are the host sites for the first two rounds.


No. 1 Grand Valley State

Record: 18-3 (9-0 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference).

Record vs. regional teams: 1-1.

Coach: Jeff Hosler (fourth season)

Scouting the Lakers: This is the 15th straight season Grand Valley State has reached the NCAA Tournament and 12th consecutive year the Lakers have home field advantage in the opening weekend. The Lakers have won 11 straight GLIAC Tournament championships and outscored their opponents 16-0 en route to this year's title. Grand Valley State swept the postseason awards as senior forward Gabriella Mencotti was the Offensive Player of the Year, senior midfielder Dani Johnson was the Defensive Player of the Year and forward Ava Cook was the Freshman of the Year. Mencotti has 26 goals and nine assists, while Cook had 11 goals and 11 assists. Senior goalkeeper Jennifer Steinaway has allowed eight goals and posted eight shutouts.


No. 2 Quincy

Record: 16-3-1 (13-1 Great Lakes Valley Conference).

Record vs. regional teams: 3-2-1.

Coach: Dave Musso (12th season).

Scouting the Hawks: It's been a remarkable turnaround from a 6-10-2 season a year ago to matching the second-most single-season victories in program history. The Hawks are two victories shy of tying the program record set by the 2013 team. This is the fourth time in Musso's tenure Quincy has won at least 16 games. The Hawks are in the NCAA Tournament for the 10th time under Musso. Senior forward Mackenzie Rief was named the GLVC Offensive Player of the Year and leads QU with 10 goals, including eight game-winners. Senior defender Allison Birke, the GLVC Defensive Player of the Year, has helped the Hawks post 13 shutouts, including a program record seven straight during an 11-game unbeaten streak.


No. 3 Ohio Valley

Record: 16-0-3 (12-0-1 Great Midwest Athletic Conference).

Record vs. regional teams: 1-0-1.

Coach: Luis Rincon (first season).

Scouting the Fighting Scots: This is the first NCAA Tournament in program history after Ohio Valley won its first conference tournament championship in program history. The Fighting Scots beat Ohio Dominican 6-5 in a penalty kick shootout in the GMAC championship game. The shootout went eight rounds. Freshman forward Konstantina Giannou was the GMAC Offensive Player of the Year and has 17 goals and six assists. Freshman midfielder Paula Valbuena has nine goals and nine assists. Sophomore defender Ana Da Costa was the GMAC Defensive Player of the Year as the Fighting Scots have posted 10 shutouts. Rincon, who was named the GMAC Coach of the Year, also is in his third season as the men's soccer coach. The Ohio Valley men are the No. 1 seed


No. 4 McKendree

Record: 15-2-3 (9-2-3 Great Lakes Valley Conference).

Record vs. regional teams: 2-1.

Coach: Tim Strange (fifth season).

Scouting the Bearcats: McKendree is making its second NCAA Tournament appearance since its transition to Division II. The Bearcats joined the GLVC in 2012 and have won back-to-back GLVC Tournament championships. McKendree beat Quincy 3-0 last Sunday in the GLVC title game. McKendree had 12 consecutive winning seasons before leaving the NAIA's American Midest Conference, but this is the first time with back-to-back winning seasons since joining the GLVC. Junior forward Sydnee Carroll earned first-team All-GLVC honors, while goalkeeper Zoe Brochu was a second-team all-league selection. Carroll has nine goals and five assists, while Brochu has allowed seven goals with 11 shutouts.


No. 5 Ohio Dominican

Record: 15-4-2 (11-2-1 Great Midwest Athletic Conference).

Record vs. regional teams: 0-2-1.

Coach: Aimee Haywood (second season).

Scouting the Panthers: Ohio Dominican is making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2014 and is looking to reach a program high with a 16th victory. With 15 victories, the Panthers have tied the record. Ohio Dominican has gone 6-0-1 in its last seven games, outscoring its opponents 20-2 in that stretch. Senior midfielder Lauren Bates, freshman defender Lindsay Buten and junior goalkeeper Marissa Wierzbicki were named first-team All-GMAC. Bates, who scored more than 1,000 points for the Ohio Dominican women's basketball team, has been a tremendous addition to the soccer program. She has 15 goals and three assists. Wierzbicki has six shutouts but a .784 save percentage.


No. 6 Bellarmine

Record: 7-3-7 (6-3-5 Great Lakes Valley Conference).

Record vs. regional teams: 1-2-1.

Coach: Chris Tinius (fourth season).

Scouting the Knights: This will be Bellarmine's third NCAA Tournament appearance under Tinius, and the Knights have made six postseason appearances since 2009. The seven ties are a program record, and the Knights played to scoreless ties in both GLVC Tournament games. Quincy eliminated Bellarmine with a 5-3 victory in the penalty kick shootout. The Knights opened the season with a 2-1 victory at Grand Valley State, which was the reigning national runner-up. Senior goalkeeper Taylor Smith, a first-team All-GLVC selection, has allowed only six goals this season and posted a progra record 12 shutouts. Freshman midfielder Samantha Ferry leads the Knights with four goals and one assist.