WINONA LAKE — Grace College continued to play solid soccer, adding another pair of wins on the men’s and women’s side of the ledger Saturday against St. Francis.
GRACE MEN 5, ST. FRANCIS 0
Grace routed St. Francis 5-0 at 1st Source Bank Field, using goals from four different players on Saturday.
With the win, Grace secured the No. 2 spot in the Crossroads League standings. The Lancers (11-3-3, 5-1-2 CL) will host a quarterfinal match on Oct. 31 to open up the CL Tournament.
Grace took a commanding 2-0 lead after 45 minutes of play. The match started in a seeming monsoon. The rains were heavy before kickoff and winds were blistery, nearing 20 miles per hour.
Both teams struggled to build possession because of the conditions, forcing offenses to attack directly.
The Cougars figured out the slick conditions early on, taking five shots on goal in the first 15 minutes. Kurt Hamlin was up to the task with five saves, including an athletic, diving save to his right.
Midway into the half, Grace’s attack clicked. The Lancers created several threatening chances at USF’s goal. Cody Boerema had a shot that hit the goalpost, and he later had another chance but slipped in front of the goal before his attempt.
The first goal of the game came from a penalty kick. Marcelo Talamas was fouled in the penalty box, and he stepped up and cleanly converted the PK attempt at the 30:52 mark.
Six minutes later, Grace’s lead had doubled. Breno Oliveira led Colin Cape with a pass, and Cape buried a deep shot from 20 yards out.
Grace could have easily scored three more in the first half. The Lancers had two goals disallowed due to an offside call, and a second PK attempt that clanged off a goalpost.
The second half belonged entirely to Grace. The Lancers pelted the Cougars’ net with shots, outshooting USF 19-2 over the last 45 minutes.
Grace’s final three goals all came within a five-minute span. Ulisses Miranda set up Talamas for his second goal in the 71st minute.
In the 73rd minute, Cape and Miranda combined on a series of quick passes, allowing Shemar DeGannes to score Grace’s fourth goal.
At the 73:37 mark, Tyler Brueckman stole a pass in the backfield, beat a defender and curled a shot past the goalkeeper.
For the match, Grace outshot USF 29-11 and held a 6-1 edge in corner kicks.
Kurt Hamlin made six saves to record his ninth shutout of the season. He was protected well by defenders Ivan Santagiuliana, Josiah Osborn, Romain Chantrel and Zeb Johansson.
The Lancers wrap up the regular season on Wednesday at Marian at 7:30 p.m.
GRACE WOMEN 4, ST. FRANCIS 0
The NAIA 21st-ranked Lady Lancers (15-2, 7-1 Crossroads League) can finish no worse than second place in the league standings. Grace can clinch at least a share of the Crossroads League championship on Wednesday in the regular season finale.
Grace will host No. 17 Marian on Wednesday 7 p.m. at 1st Source Bank Field to close out the regular season.
Saturday’s game was a chilly, rainy affair in Fort Wayne. Grace dominated from start to finish, practically eliminating any chances by the Cougars (4-9-4, 0-7-1 CL). USF was outshot 21-1 in the contest, and 16 of Grace’s shots were on goal.
Despite 11 shots and seven on goal in the first half by Grace, the Lady Lancers could only score once before halftime.
Sacia Hanson set up Shelby Fort for the go-ahead goal at the 28:10 mark.
The Lady Lancers outshot USF 11-0 in the first half, and Grace’s attack continued in earnest in the second half. Grace held a 10-1 shot advantage after halftime.
It did not take long for Grace to score again in the second half. On Grace’s first shot of the half, Jenni Phillips scored an unassisted goal at the 48:42 mark.
Less than 10 minutes later, Grace’s lead had ballooned to 4-0. Fort scored her second of the match in the 52nd minute, assisted by Phillips. Allison Vroon then ended the night’s scoring on an assist by Cassidy Wasson at the 55:23 mark.
Bethany Blackwood needed only one save in the match to record her NAIA-leading 13th shutout.
Phillips led all players with five shots, and Hanson, Fort and Corinne Villalobos each shot four times.
Grace has won 11 of its past 12 matches and is enjoying its best regular season in program history.