WINONA LAKE – Another busy day in the Grace College athletic department, which included the dedication of Phil Dick Field for the softball program and homecoming activities on campus.
GRACE MEN’S SOCCER 0, TAYLOR 0
On Homecoming Saturday, Grace’s men’s soccer team had to settle for a scoreless draw with Taylor.
The match was called early as heavy lightning and thunderstorms made for unplayable conditions with 4:55 remaining in double overtime.
The Lancers (8-2-3, 2-0-2 Crossroads League) had a massive advantage in goal-scoring opportunities. For the match, Grace racked up 31 shots with 15 of those on goal compared to 10 shots for Taylor.
But Grace was forced to deal with a final 0-0 scoreline after 105 minutes of action.
The Trojans (3-7-1, 0-3-1 CL) were outshot in every period; the Lancers had at least twice as many shot attempts in each half and even in each overtime session, despite playing with 10 men for the final portion of the match.
Grace was given a red card with five minutes to play in regulation, but that didn’t stop Grace from threatening to win the match. The Lancers continued to be the aggressors while playing a man down, holding a 5-2 shot advantage in the two overtime periods.
Breno Oliveira led all players with nine shots, nearly outshooting Taylor (10 shots) by himself. Ulisses Miranda had five shots with three on goal, and Nikola Djordjevic and Marcelo Talamas each had three attempts.
Kurt Hamlin earned a 105-minute shutout as Grace’s goalkeeper. He made a few timely stops in the second half, including a sliding effort outside his penalty box late in regulation to preserve the 0-0 score.
The Lancers’ next match is at Indiana Wesleyan on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
GRACE WOMEN’S SOCCER 1, TAYLOR 0
Grace’s women’s soccer team registered its finest win of the season on Saturday, and there have been plenty of wins from which to choose.
The Lady Lancers increased their win streak to eight games with a 1-0 upset of No. 18 Taylor. Liz Van Wormer provided the winning moment with a stunning goal in the second half.
Grace has been dominant during its current winning streak. The Lady Lancers (12-1, 4-0 Crossroads League) are outscoring their opponents 38-1, recording seven shutouts in those eight consecutive wins.
The team’s 12-1 start is tied with the 2009 squad for the best start in program history, and Grace sits tied atop the current league standings with No. 1 Spring Arbor.
Van Wormer’s game winner occurred in the 73rd moment. Brooke Kohler passed up the left sideline to Van Wormer, who dribbled down the field. Before getting to the endline, Van Wormer lofted a shot above Taylor’s goalkeeper and off the far post into the net.
The match started slowly as teams began to get their footing on the slick turf; the match was delayed 30 minutes prior to kickoff due to thunderstorms in the area.
The Trojans (9-2-2, 2-2 CL) had a slight edge in the first half, outshooting Grace 4-3 with three corner kicks.
The Lady Lancers seemed to be the aggressors in the second half. Grace’s possession attack found its rhythm after halftime, earning the better part of possession. Taylor was held without a shot for a 15-minute segment.
Joana Schimmel had a shot saved shortly after halftime, and Corinne Villalobos nearly scored in the 65th minute with an attempt that hit the crossbar.
Grace’s pressure started to wear down the Trojans, eventually resulting in Van Wormer’s winning goal at the 72:24 mark.
The Lady Lancers absorbed the response from Taylor after Van Wormer’s goal; the Trojans could only muster one shot on goal over the final 30 minutes of regulation, which Bethany Blackwood saved.
McKenna Cruz, Kohler, Aubrey Feipel, Allison Vroon, Kristen Bellinger and Clair Snodgrass joined forces in the match on defense to shut out Taylor, Grace’s 10th shutout of the season. Blackwood saved five shots in 90 minutes for the win.
The Lady Lancers return home for a pair of games next week, both against teams receiving votes in the NAIA poll. Grace hosts Indiana Wesleyan on Wednesday 7 p.m. and Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Saturday 7 p.m.
HUNTINGTON VOLLEYBALL 3, GRACE 2
Grace’s volleyball team was unable to complete a perfect week after losing 3-2 at Huntington on Saturday.
The Lady Lancers, fresh off wins over No. 18 St. Francis and Taylor, let an early lead slip away to lose on the road to the Foresters (9-16, 5-8 Crossroads League).
Grace started the match well in the opening set. The Lady Lancers (17-8, 9-4 CL) jumped out to a 15-6 lead and coasted to a 25-19 win.
The second set seemed to be headed Grace’s direction as well. A kill from Makaela Lochmueller put the Lady Lancers ahead 24-21. But the Foresters incredibly held off three set points to force extra points, and Huntington pulled away for a 28-26 win.
The third set was hotly contested with 22 ties in that game alone. Grace held a slight 20-19 lead, but Huntington ended on a 6-3 run to win by two again.
Grace was dominant in the fourth to force a tiebreaker. The Lady Lancers scored nine unanswered points, thanks to four aces by Kelsee Zuidema, to win 25-13.
Midway into the tiebreaking fifth set, Huntington ripped off four straight points to seize momentum. The Lady Lancers were unable to counter and fell 15-10 to end the match.
Alexa Hill directed a high-octane offense with 55 assists, 14 digs and 2 block assists. Grace hit 57 kills on a .230 percentage compared to 59 kills at a .134 clip for Huntington.
Caylie Teel produced a double-double with 18 kills and 12 digs, and Lochmueller had a career-high 14 kills on a .520 percentage.
Zuidema had 13 kills, 4 aces and 5 digs, Gina Novotny tallied 15 digs, and Caroline Mayer added 13 digs.
The Lady Lancers take a break from league play next week, playing a tournament at Cornerstone University.