United Soccer Coaches announced the 2022 NCAA Division II Men's and Women's All-Americans on Thursday. Lee University's Kate Dirkse was named to the Third-Team. Dirkse, a defender from Chattanooga, ended the season with seven goals and two assists while anchoring the back line for the Lady Flames.
On the men's side, Eemeli Makela was named to the First Team. Makela, an Espoo, Finland native, led the Flames this season with seven goals and six assists. The senior captain led the midfield for the Flames with 30 shots on the year.
Head Coach Chris Hennessey was very excited about the honors for Dirkse. "This is another accolade that represents a player who works incredible hard for the team. Kate has one more year with us and I am hoping that it will ber best one yet."
Head Coach Derek Pottieger is very proud of the accomplishment for Makela. "I’m so proud of Eemeli and this is certainly a well deserved accomplishment. He has worked extremely hard during his time here and not only is he a great player, but a great leader as well. We will miss him in the seasons and years to come but he has left a clear legacy and a high standard for what it means to be a Lee Men’s Soccer player."
Among the 34 men's soccer players receiving All-American recognition, University of West Florida junior forward Kainan Dos Santos and California State University-Los Angeles senior goalkeeper Alvaro Unanua are earning the second All-America honors of their careers.
On the women's side, seven out of the 37 student-athletes receiving recognition are earning the second All-America honors of their careers: College of Saint Rose sophomore forward Mia Klammer; Catawba senior defender Katie Beck; Bemidji State GR-5 defender Megan Dahl; Western Washington senior midfielder Tera Ziemer; Emporia State senior forward Mackenzie Dimarco; Kutztown GR-5 midfielder Kayla Argen and Flagler sophomore forward Andrea Fernandez. Minnesota State University-Mankato GR-5 forward Jenny Vetter is being recognized as an All-American for the third time.
This year's All-Americans will be recognized for their accomplishments at the United Soccer Coaches All-America Ceremony & Reception on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia in conjunction with the United Soccer Coaches Convention.