GOSHEN – Before Saturday’s match, Goshen had not lost a men’s soccer match at home all season.
Grace made sure to change that fact on Saturday. The Lancers pulled out a 1-0 victory at Goshen in the regular season finale.
Grace will enter next week’s Crossroads League Tournament as the No. 2 seed, the team’s second runner-up finish in the past three years.
The Lancers will host Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Wednesday at 1st Source Bank Field in the quarterfinals of the CL Tourney. With a win, Grace would then host the semifinals on Nov. 4 against either Indiana Wesleyan or Goshen.
Saturday’s match was won by an own goal for the Lancers (9-4-4, 6-2-1 CL).
Grace earned two corner kicks in the opening 10 minutes of the match. The second corner from Ulisses Miranda was put into a dangerous position, and the Maple Leafs committed an own goal to give Grace a 1-0 lead.
Both teams tried 10 shots in the first half, but it was the Lancers who went into halftime ahead. Damon Binkley almost doubled Grace’s lead with the final attempt of the half, but his shot ricocheted off the goalpost.
Chances were fewer for both teams in the second half. Goshen had four shots in the first 20 minutes of the half, but the Lancers’ defense tightened up. The Maple Leafs could only muster one shot attempt for the final 17:49 of the match.
Binkley and Omar Gonzalez both tried late shots that were denied in the final 10 minutes.
Kurt Hamlin continued his impressive season with eight saves in a shutout for the Lancers; he made four saves in each half to record his seventh shutout of the season.
Goshen slightly edged out Grace in shots, 16-15. Binkley’s six shots led all players, and Brayton Taylor tried two shots on goal.