The teams were nearly equal in shots, corner kicks and possession, but it was the 25th-ranked Saints who came away with a 1-0 win at Miller Field
Siena Heights earned an early corner kick within the first minutes of the game. Their cross into the box resulted in a scrum, and Elizabeth Davis bounced a shot off the crossbar that came down to deflect off goalkeeper Carmen Barnhill and into the goal at the 3:17 mark.
The Lady Lancers had numerous opportunities in the opening half as they outshot Siena Heights 11-5. In the 17th minute, Grace gained several close looks in the penalty box after a free kick but failed to convert.
Jocelyn Evans unleashed a deep, curling shot late in the opening half that forced the Saints’ goalkeeper to save the ball off the crossbar. The Saints withstood Grace’s first-half barrage to enter halftime with a one-goal lead.
One of Grace’s best looks in the second half came in the opening minutes. Mallory Rondeau headed a hard shot that resulted in another diving save from Siena Heights.
Kelsey Christner sent a low free kick a few feet wide of goal shortly after, but the Saints’ defense refused to allow Grace onto the scoreboard.
“Today was a battle between two good teams that was exciting for 90 minutes. Grace never really got it going with implementing our possession futbol as we accepted Siena’s fast and direct style and did not appropriately dictate our way to them,” said Grace head coach Michael Voss. “We created a handful of great opportunities early that slipped away. The Siena keeper made several huge saves to keep us out of the net. We have a plan in place, and we are on the trail to enacting that plan.”
Carmen Barnhill made seven saves in goal for the Lady Lancers, and the Saints’ goalkeeper, Crystal Wilcoxen, made nine saves.
Jocelyn Evans led Grace with five shots, and Holly Bennett and Rondeau each tallied three shots on goal.
The Lady Lancers will continue action next weekend as they face Aquinas College on Friday and Missouri Baptist on Saturday.