By Craig Beilfuss
NORTON SHORES—Mona Shores goalkeeper Ella Buikema signed her national letter of intent Wednesday at the Mona Shores Soccer Stadium to continue her soccer career at Spring Arbor University.
Spring Arbor University is a member of National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), along with being in the Crossroads League.
The Cougars are an NAIA women’s soccer powerhouse that won the NAIA national championship in 2015 and 2017. Last season, Spring Arbor finished with a record of 18-2-1, 9-0 in the conference record.
Buikema is a four-year performer for the Sailors’ varsity team.
She has helped lead Mona Shores to a 9-1-2 record, 6-0-1 in the OK-Green.
“Ella is an extremely driven person,” Shores coach Dylan Darga said. “She is the type of player that will not let anything get in her way of accomplishing whatever goal she has. As you can see that is in and out of the classroom. She is a tremendous leader in the back and had a ton of respect from her teammates and peers. She does everything right and has high integrity.”
Last season, Buikema posted 11 shutouts. Through nine games this season, she has four shutouts. Buikema this season include 34 saves (85 percent save percentage). She has allowed six goals (0.66 goal-against-average).
Buikema has a 4.118 GPA and has chosen Exercise Science as her major at Spring Arbor.
Ella is the daughter of Andrew and Lynn Buikema.