WINONA LAKE – A pair of freshmen, including former Warsaw record-setting star Meredith Hollar, lifted Grace to a 2-1 upset of No. 25 Judson in women’s college sectional action at Miller Field on Thursday.
Hollar headed in the game-tying goal for her first collegiate tally, and Jordan Hairgrove netted the game winner in the 75th minute in her first collegiate match. Hollar set the program goal scoring standard during a prolific prep career at WCHS.
“This was a step in the right direction for the women today. We had really good sessions of possession that led to good chance creation,” said head coach Michael Voss. “We maintained an even implementation of style for all but one section of 15 minutes, but we bounced back from that.”
Despite giving up a fourth-minute penalty kick, the Lady Lancers (1-2) were poised and strong in possession throughout Thursday’s clash.
Hollar, playing her first match as a Lady Lancer in front of her hometown crowd, headed in a cross from Mallory Rondeau to tie the game at the 21:07 mark. But despite outshooting Judson 11-4 in the first half with a 9-1 advantage in corner kicks, Grace was unable to strike again before halftime.
The Eagles (0-1) picked up their offensive pressure in the second half, but the Lady Lancers’ defense of Heather Martin, Faith Voehringer, Lauren Becker and Jalisa Thayer kept Judson off the scoreboard.
Rondeau provided her second assist of the game with just over 15 minutes left to play with another cross that Hairgrove finished in the penalty box.
Erica Manchess nearly doubled Grace’s advantage with a shot from 20 yards after a strong spell of possession, but her attempt sailed just above the crossbar with nine minutes remaining.
“I think we caught Judson early, and they will shape into a solid team this year,” Voss said. “This was a good result for us as we progress to playing full stride.”
For the match Grace outshot Judson 20-12 while forcing the Eagles’ goalkeeper into eight saves. Carmen Barnhill earned the win in goal for Grace.
Rondeau paced Grace with four shots and three shots on goal, and Holly Bennett and Hollar each tallied three shots.
Grace is in the “receiving votes” section of the NAIA Top 25 Preseason Poll.
The Lady Lancers will next gear up for their exciting rematch with the Women’s National Team of Haiti at 4 p.m. Saturday at Miller Field. The international friendly competition drew a standing-room only crowd in 2012. Catch a live broadcast of the game onlinehere.