WINONA LAKE – Although the Grace College women’s soccer team outshot Bethel 29-9 in their match on Wednesday, the Lady Lancers saved the winning play for overtime.
On Grace’s 29th shot attempt, former Warsaw Tiger standout Jocelyn Evans drilled a 25-yarder above the goalkeeper’s head for the golden-goal winner in Grace’s 3-2 victory.
The Pilots (5-6; 0-3 Crossroads League) got on the scoreboard first with an early goal from Nicole Steller. Her goal deflected off Abigail Burns’s gloves into the net against the run of play.
Despite yielding the 7th minute goal, the Lady Lancers (9-2-1; 2-1 CL) maintained dominance in possession during the opening period. Grace had a number of strong looks as they outshot Bethel 14-2 in the first half.
Shortly after Bethel’s goal, Carianne Sobey weaved through a throng of Pilots to rip a shot that forced Bethel’s Mallory Conrad to make a fully extended save.
In the 19th minute, Grace scored when a patient attack started on the right side of the field and switched toward the left. Jocelyn Evans received a ball at the top of the penalty box and backheeled a pass to Sobey. Sobey beat her defender on the left side of the box and served a ball to Mallory Rondeau for a one-time finish.
In the 39th minute, Sobey picked out Rondeau with a long through ball from midfield. Rondeau latched onto the pass and was alone with the goalkeeper as she calmly slotted her shot inside the goalpost.
Bethel found an equalizer shortly after halftime, however, when the Pilots deflected a corner kick into the net in the 48th minute.
Grace had a few key opportunities for the game winner in regulation but failed to convert. In the 63rd minute Emily Hickerson nearly scored just seconds after subbing into play when her shot railed off the crossbar.
Rondeau was on the verge of a hat trick when she found herself in a 1v1 situation with less than 10 minutes remaining, but Bethel’s Conrad made a clutch save to keep the Pilots afloat.
Evans ended the match less than six minutes into the first overtime period, however, as Conrad could not keep Evans’s perfectly-placed shot out of the net.
The Lady Lancers next prepare for their big clash with rival No. 25 Indiana Wesleyan on Saturday. The match at Miller Field kicks off at 1 p.m.