Missouri Valley College Men 2, Grace 1
Grace College’s men’s soccer team came up just short of knocking off the No. 1 ranked and defending NAIA national champion Missouri Valley College (MVC) on Monday.
The Lancers led MVC at halftime, but two second half markers for the Vikings halted the upset bid as Grace lost 2-1.
Just over 10 minutes into the game, the Lancers jumped in front of the defending NAIA national champs. Marco Poliani assisted Cardoso, who buried his team-leading fifth goal of the season to give Grace the 1-0 lead.
Five minutes after the ice breaker, Cardoso attempted to net his second goal of the game, but the Vikings’ (3-0) keeper was up to the task.
After the early action, the pace of the game slowed as it became a midfield battle. Following the Lancers’ second shot, 20 minutes of action expired before another chance on goal was seen by either side.
In the 42nd minute MVC got the ball into the Lancers’ box and was awarded a penalty kick after Grace made a tough challenge on the ball. Conci made a diving save on the penalty kick, and the Lancers’ defense cleared the ball to hold onto the advantage.
The first half concluded with Grace leading 1-0.
Grace put two shots on goal in the first half, and MVC was awarded four corners. The opening 45 minutes had a physical aspect as the teams combined for 10 fouls and three yellow cards.
Just after the second half kicked off, a controversial goal erased Grace’s lead.
A deflected shot on goal got past Conci, but a Lancer defender had seemed to jettison the ball away before it crossed the goal line. After a quick discussion, the referees deemed the Vikings’ goal good, and the game was tied at one apiece.
After surrendering the equalizer, the Lancers quickly jumped back on the attack. Cardoso had an open opportunity on net, but his headed attempt was directed right of the goal.
The teams traded chances back and forth, but neither side could find the go-ahead goal.
With 20 minutes left in regulation, Grace began to ramp up its pressure. The Lancers used quick passes to get close for an opportunity on goal and were within inches of recapturing the lead.
Colt Tanner received a crossing pass and found himself all alone on the right side of the box. Tanner rocketed a shot that hit the far post square and ricocheted harmlessly away.
After surviving the Grace attack, MVC took advantage of their next opportunity to grab the lead for the first time of the game.
The Vikings got the ball 25 yards out from goal and put a precise shot on target that hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced into the net for the 2-1 lead with 10 minutes left in regulation.
The Lancers pressured late, but their quest to find the game-tying tally would fall short as MVC held on for the 2-1 win.
Grace was outshot by MVC 14-9. The Lancers were unable to earn a corner, while the Vikings were awarded seven.
Tyler Brueckmen, Felipe Gruber, Cardoso and Tanner all tried shots on goal.
Monday’s game marks the end of the Lancers’ four-game road trip as they now prepare for a three-game homestand.
The Lancers will return home to 1st Source Bank Field on Saturday for the first since Aug. 21 as they host Cornerstone at 7 p.m.