WINONA LAKE – The Grace College women’s soccer team nearly pulled off an upset of No. 16 Olivet Nazarene on Friday, losing 2-1 despite a shot advantage.
The Lady Lancers (1-1) outshot the Tigers 19-9 in the match, but a pair of first-half goals from ONU’s Liz Wahl trumped Grace’s efforts at Miller Field.
Both of Wahl’s goals came from strong individual plays. The junior wove into the penalty box and drove her seventh-minute strike into the net to open the game’s scoring.
Mallory Rondeau found the equalizer in the 13th minute on a brilliant free kick. The junior lined up from over 30 yards and blasted a thunderous kick just below the crossbar to tie the score.
Wahl found the eventual game-winning goal in the 25th minute with a one-time volley from outside the penalty box at the 24:30 mark. Wahl’s two goals were the only two shots of the first half for Olivet Nazarene.
Grace, who outshot Olivet Nazarene 7-2 in the first half, continued their offensive barrage in the second half. The Lady Lancers tallied 12 shots after halftime but were unable to tie the match. Holly Bennett, Rondeau and Kaitlan Wiles each took hard shots in the final 10 minutes, but the Tigers’ goalkeeper maintained the scoreline with sure-handed grabs.
The Tigers could have added more goals when two penalty kicks were awarded in the second half, but Olivet Nazarene came up empty on each attempt.
Rondeau led all players with five shots, and Bennett and Meghan Wiles added three shots apiece.
Grace will take another shot at an NAIA top 25-ranked opponent on Saturday 7 p.m. against No. 22 John Brown.