SPRING ARBOR, Mich. – Spring Arbor’s men’s soccer team got the best of Grace College on Saturday, notching a golden-goal winner in double overtime.
Grace’s loss ousts the Lancers from the Crossroads League Tournament, forcing Grace to switch its focus to qualifying for NCCAA Nationals. The Lancers will await regional pairings in order to win its way to the national tournament.
“I thought our guys played together tonight. They played with heart, and I was proud of them. Spring Arbor is dangerous on set pieces, and they took advantage of the calls they kept getting near our box,” said Grace head coach Matt Hotchkin. “We had our share of good chances in the run of play, and I really thought we had the upper hand in the first overtime period. It’s a frustrating loss, but we move forward in preparation for the NCCAA tournament.”
In the opening half, the Lancers fell behind early in the 16th minute when Spring Arbor finished off a cross in the penalty box.
Grace’s offense was strong early in the half but was held without a shot or corner kick in the final 15 minutes.
After being called offside twice in the early minutes of the second half, Grace found its breakthrough to tie the match. A free kick was knocked on by Josiah O’Deens to Ben Cahill, and Cahill chipped a pass over the defending line to Kyle Hamlin for the goal at the 57:28 mark.
Neither team was able to net a winner for the remaining minutes of regulation, which included four shots and a corner kick in the final five minutes.
Grace had the only shot attempt of the first overtime period from Hector Torres, but the Cougars won the match in the second overtime when the hosts converted a set piece header in the 104th minute.