WINONA LAKE – The Grace College women’s soccer team recorded 22 shots in their Crossroads League Tournament match with Mount Vernon Nazarene on Saturday, and a long strike from Holly Bennett gave Grace a 1-0 win.
The Lady Lancers, who will host the CL semifinals next Saturday, tied the program’s win record with their victory and now have a record of 14-3-2 for the season.
Grace controlled the first half and outshot the Cougars 17-2 in the first 45 minutes. The team’s goal did not come until the 32nd minute, however.
Bennett found space from 35 yards out and ripped her shot with pace into the back of the net.
Bennett nearly scored off a free kick five minutes earlier when her shot careened off the post, and the rebound attempt from Kaitlan Wiles was snuffed out from close range.
Wiles (three shots) and Mallory Rondeau (four shots) each took strong attempts in the opening half, but Grace was unable to add to their tally.
The Cougars (6-9-4) picked up their play in the second half, equaling the Lady Lancers in shots. Grace’s defense limited Mount Vernon to difficult shots, however, as the Cougars were held to one shot on goal after halftime.
Rondeau worked hard to free herself on a pair of long runs in the second half but was unable to add to her 15 goals on the season.
“Today was a good performance from the Grace women. Mount Vernon works hard the entire match. We were creative yet composed, handled the pressure well and kept our opposition to very limited opportunities,” said Grace head coach Michael Voss. “I was pleased to see those who have been limited get back at it today. We will be full strength now moving forward. That is good for us.”
Grace’s defense recorded their ninth shutout of the season thanks to the stout marking of Ryann Casciari, Liz Casey, Jessica Bickle, Heather Martin and Jalisa Thayer. Carmen Barnhill posted the shutout in goal with three saves. The Lady Lancers currently rank seventh in the nation with nine shutouts.
Rondeau led all players with seven shots and three shots on goal. Wiles and Bennett added three shots, and Jocelyn Evans, Carianne Sobey and Martin added two shots.
Grace held a 7-3 advantage in corner kicks as six of their corners occurred in the first half.
The Lady Lancers will host Saint Francis on Saturday, Nov. 3, for the CL semifinals. The match at Miller Field is set to start at 1 p.m.