In front of a standing-room only crowd at Miller Field, Haiti pulled out a 3-0 victory in a historic friendly competition.
“Today’s exhibition was a fantastic opportunity for our program. This experience will pay dividends for years to come and hopefully an eternity for some,” said Grace head coach Michael Voss. “This has been a wonderful two days fellowshipping with truly wonderful people. I am grateful to the staff and the women of the WNT of Haiti for coming to Grace College. This was really fantastic.”
Haiti, which is ranked No. 58 in the world by the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking, initiated a physical style of play that gave Grace fits early in the first half. The Lady Lancers gave up two goals within the first 13 minutes of play – both of which came from long-range efforts from Haiti.
Grace seemed to settle down after the second goal, earning equal share of offensive opportunities for the duration of the half.
Kaitlan Wiles nearly cut the margin in half when she broke free in the 23rd minute. After latching onto a through ball from Heather Martin, Wiles beat the goalkeeper with her shot but was whistled for being offside.
In the second half, Grace played much more consistently and took four shots compared to seven for Haiti in the final 45 minutes of play.
Mallory Rondeau and Emily Hickerson provided Grace’s two best efforts at scoring a goal in the second half, but each time Haiti’s defense proved stout.
Grace turned on the offensive pressure after halftime, which resulted in the Lady Lancers taking all three corner kicks in the second half. But Haiti took advantage of Grace’s offensive formation, scoring their third and final goal with six minutes remaining in the match.
All 23 members of Grace’s active roster saw significant playing time in the match, and six Lady Lancers tallied a shot in the international competition. Holly Bennett led Grace with three shots.
“We conclude a very important, yet difficult phase of our season with this match. This has been a grueling seven days, and it has truly stretched our squad and system. We have grown immensely since a week ago,” Voss continued.
“Haiti really brought a great match today. They played quickly and efficiently and were extremely technical. I am pleased that we played to win this match and didn’t sit back or crank it long. I’m proud of our women for being straight up and living in our system. In the end we gave up three goals, but the positives way outweigh the negatives on a day like today.”
Overall, Haiti outshot Grace 19-8. They also had more fouls than the Lady Lancers (17-5).
For Haiti, the goals were scored by Manouchka Pierre-Louis, Roselord Borgella and Sophia Batard.
The Lady Lancers will resume their regular season next weekend when they travel to St. Xavier on Friday and to No. 16 Trinity Christian on Saturday.
Story provided by Grace College Sports Information.