WINONA LAKE – The Crossroads League season started on a positive note for the Grace College women’s soccer team with a 2-0 victory over Indiana Wesleyan on Saturday night.
The Lady Lancers (5-2-2, 1-0 CL) notched first-half goals from Jordan Hairgrove and Mallory Rondeau, and Grace’s defense took care of the rest. The Wildcats (1-8, 0-1 CL) were held to two shots on goal for the match and six shots overall.
Grace controlled play in the first period, creating a number of scoring opportunities over the first 10 minutes. Hairgrove and Rondeau both had strong looks in the early stages.
Hairgrove’s hustle created the match’s first goal. She intercepted a pass from IWU’s goalkeeper near the top of the penalty box and lofted an expertly placed shot above the goalie into an open net in the 14th minute.
Less than three minutes later, Grace had doubled its lead. Meredith Matson’s long pass found Holly Bennett on the right side of the field. Bennett fired a cross into the penalty box where Rondeau converted her close-range shot at the 16:20 mark.
The first half ended with a 10-3 advantage in shots for the Lady Lancers and a 2-0 advantage on the scoreboard.
The second half saw an increase in physical play, resulting in 19 fouls and fewer shot attempts. Grace and Indiana Wesleyan notched three shots apiece over the final 45 minutes. A few of Grace’s better chances were disallowed as the Wildcats’ defense caught the Lady Lancers offside six times.
Midway into the second half, Carianne Sobey made a weaving run into the penalty box. After maneuvering past a few defenders, Sobey’s shot to the near post clanged off the post and out of bounds.
For the game, Rondeau and Meredith Hollar led Grace’s offense with three shot attempts. Faith Voehringer, Carlie Salinas, Erica Manchess, Matson and Heather Martin controlled the defensive side of the ball for Grace, and freshman goalkeeper Abby Schue picked up the shutout victory with two saves in 90 minutes.
The Lady Lancers have two road matches next week, including at St. Francis on Tuesday and at Huntington on Saturday. Grace’s next home match is a must-see event against No. 12 Spring Arbor on Oct. 8.