Japan native fitting in nicely at Grand Valley State

Posted at 11:09 PM, Sep 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-17 23:09:50-04

ALLENDALE, Mich -- Six games into the season the Grand Valley State women's soccer team is unbeaten and Riko Sagara is  leading the Lakers with 6 goals.

A native of Tokyo, Japan, Sagara transferred to GVSU following two years at Martin Methodist, an NAIA school in Tennessee.

"I love my teammates, coaches, and high quality of competition" Sagara said.  "I love it."

She wanted to come to GVSU two years ago but didn't have the required test scores to qualify.

The Lakers are sure glad to have her now.

"Riko has been a great addition" head coach Jeff Hosler said.  "Six games and she's made a huge impact. She fits our style of play because she's a possession oriented player and very composed and has an innate ability to strike balls with both feet. That's been on display with her three free kick goals early in the season."

Sagara was a member of the women's GRFC team that won a national championship in 2017 and played with Lansing United this past summer.

"She's really fun to play with" senior midfielder Tara Lierman said.  "She's a really creative player and it's something I've never really played with so it's really fun to play with her and see her different ideas on the field. I think she just opens up a lot of ideas and combinations for us through the midfield and playing people through and finding combinations."

The Lakers play their 3rd game in 5 days Tuesday night against Indianapolis at the GVSU Soccer Field