Grand Valley State women win sixth D2 national crown
Redshirt sophomore Gianna Parlove's golden goal in the 107th minute of extra time lifted No. 2 Grand Valley State University to a 1-0 victory over No. 7 West Washington in the Division II championship final Saturday at Highpoint Stadium in Pittsburgh.
The national title is the sixth in the last 10 years for Grand Valley, which advanced to the championship after downing No. 11 Saint Rose, 3-2, Thursday in the semifinals. The Lakers (25-1) last won the DII national crown in 2015.
Parlove (Brighton/Mercy High) struck the winner for the Lakers, who were outshot 26-8 — including 20-3 in the second half and overtime.
The play developed off a free kick, which bounced onto Parlove's path near the six-yard box. The midfielder sent a half-volley screaming past the West Washington netminder.
"The feeling was just incredible," said Parlove, who is a member of the Michigan Hawks. "To be surrounded by my best friends and celebrate what we've worked so hard for all year.
"We showed so much resiliency today and I couldn't be happier."
First team All-American goalkeeper Jessica Radice made a career-high eight saves to blank West Washington (23-2).
Ava Cook, who led the nation with 29 goals and 70 points, scored in the semifinal victory.
Cook (Battle Creek) was one of three 20-goal scorers to feature for the national champions. Riko Sagaro had 20 goals and 23 assists while Chantel Carranza added 23 goals and eight assists.
Grand Valley State posted a phenomenal 107-goal differential, scoring 117 goals while holding opponents to 10.