NorthWood Girls 1, Elkhart 0
The Lady Panthers traveled north to take on their Elkhart County brethren and came home with a sparkling 1-0 win.
Ari Topping pushed one past the Lion keeper who strayed too far toward the top of the goal box and was out of position when the shot came. After the goal, which came in the 18th minute of the match, the two teams played 62 minutes of scoreless soccer. Both teams had opportunities to add to the scoreboard but neither could fully capitalize.
Panther goalie Carly Mast and the entire rotating NorthWood back line, including Haylee Heflin, Callie Johnson, Lizzie Hilderbrant, Abby Thornton, Paige Conkright, Joslyn Miller and Fatima Ghaffar, was excellent all afternoon in keeping the talented Lions off the scoreboard.
NorthWood moved its record to 6-2-1 on the season. They next travel to Concord for a rescheduled match with the Lady Minutemen on Wednesday evening.
Mishawaka Marian Girls 2, Warsaw 1
Bonnie Hampton potted a first half goal for the Lady Tigers in a non-conference home match with the Knights.
Marian would score twice in the second period while keeping Warsaw’s shooters at bay to notch the victory.
Warsaw moves to 8-6 on the season and will return to NLC play next Saturday morning at county rival Wawasee.
Lakeland Christian Academy Boys 2, Peru 1
Peru came to Winona Lake and Saturday and went home on the short end of a 2-1 score.
The Tigers got the first goal in the final minute of the first half to take a 1-0 lead into the break.
LCA found the equalizer 17 minutes into the second stanza on an unassisted goal by Landen Bremer. They then took the lead for good with less than two minutes to go in the game off the head of Nate Reimink, assisted by Trey Avey.
The Cougars outshot their opponents 11-6 on the day.
“We dominated play in the First half, and were unlucky to be down by a goal,” said LCA coach Dan Miller. “They sat back and tried to counter attack us throughout the game. We switched formations at halftime in order to put more pressure on their midfielders. I credit our players for adjusting to the more attacking formation. Landen Bremer again hit unstoppable free kick for our first goal. Trey Avey beat the defender and put in an exceptional cross that Nate Reimink headed in for us to defeat Peru. This is the first game that we’ve show that sort of intensity after going down in the game. We had a week off this week after Culver cancelled our match, the boys showed great excitement to be back on the field. ”
LCA-improved to 3-6 on the season and will take on Manchester at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Columbia Men 5, Grace College 0
It was a tale of two halves for Grace’s men’s soccer team on Saturday. The Lancers hosted No. 5 Columbia in a high-profile meeting at 1st Source Bank Field. Grace and Columbia were scoreless at halftime, but the Cougars erupted in the second half en route to a 5-0 victory.
The first half was evenly played between the two sides. Each team took turns in possession as the two teams gained a better feel for the match. Grace’s best chances came on direct attacks, and Columbia had its strongest looks after free kicks and corner kicks.
The Cougars had a few shots late in the half that were off the mark, including a header in the penalty box that went high. The match entered halftime with a 0-0 scoreline. Grace only managed one shot attempt compared to five shots for Columbia. The Cougars also had the only three corner kicks of the half.
The Cougars did not stay scoreless for long. Before three minutes had expired in the second half, Columbia scored twice. The visitors converted a cross inside the penalty box during the first minute after halftime. Before the Lancers could collect themselves, the Cougars had scored again.
Grace’s offense gained assertiveness after falling into an early hole in the half. Ethan Vigario had a pair of sharp strikes on goal. Jordan Jayapuram had Grace’s closest goal-scoring moment when his header in the box ricocheted off the crossbar. But just as Grace’s offense began kicking into gear, Columbia struck again to gain a comfortable 3-0 lead.
The Lancers continued to push for a tally. Vigario had a few other shots, and Famade Bamba’s header forced a diving save. But again Columbia proved to be lethal with its attempts. The Cougars calmly counterattacked, finishing cleverly in the box for their fourth goal.
Columbia squeezed in a fifth goal just before the end of the match, resulting in the final 5-0 scoreline.
The Lancers outshot the Cougars on the day by a 14-12 margin. But Grace could not find the back of the net despite that advantage. Columbia was efficient with its shot attempts, needing only 12 shots to score five times. Vigario led all players with five shots, and Connor Pugh, Ze Maria Goncalves and Bamba each shot twice.
Grace will now transition to Crossroads League play starting next week after completing a grueling non-conference schedule, a stretch that included four ranked opponents. Grace will start league play on the road on Saturday at Marian.
Columbia Women 1, Grace College 0
Grace’s No. 16-ranked women’s soccer team and No. 13 Columbia played neck-and-neck with each other in a Top-25 showdown on Saturday.
A brief lapse in judgment by Grace’s defending was the only difference as Columbia escaped with a 1-0 win. The teams were practically even in every statistical category. The Cougars had a slight 7-6 edge in shots while Grace had a 3-2 advantage in shots on goal.
The match began with a midfield battle. The two highly-ranked teams were patient in attack as they searched for an opening. The first shot attempt of the match did not occur until 19 minutes had expired. The Cougars tried a shot from a tight angle that went well wide of the net.
The first truly threatening moment of the match resulted in the only goal. Grace was dispossessed in the backfield, and the Cougars scored moments afterward with a 1v1 with Grace’s goalkeeper. The Lady Lancers possessed the ball effectively but struggled to connect passes in Columbia’s end of the field. Grace was unable to generate a shot attempt before halftime despite keeping a comfortable percentage of possession. Columbia had just two shot attempts, including the goal.
Grace began the second half with intent and almost scored immediately. Sam Vondersaar had a close-range shot blocked by Columbia’s goalkeeper. On the ensuing loose ball, Tori Calizo tried a shot in the box that went above the crossbar. The next 20 minutes reverted back to a midfield battle. The teams took turns venturing into their attacking third of the field, but neither Grace nor Columbia was able to sustain a lengthy stay in dangerous territory. Ashley Vandenboom and Lea Moessinger had shots on goal saved during the middle portions of the half.
In the 78th minute, Alexis Larimore attempted two threatening shots in a one-minute span, but each try was just off-target. Larimore’s last shot at the 78:21 mark was the final shot attempt of the match for either team. The Cougars absorbed Grace’s pressure and held Grace at bay until the final whistle.
“This was a disappointing result for us as this was a reachable game. Our ladies prepared well in training, but our quality did not translate on the field today,” said Grace head coach Michael Voss. “Positively, we are still playing deep into our rotations and developing new players, and we should gain a few players back this week. Our women have great work ethic, intelligence and heart. This is a great group with high potential.”
The Lady Lancers have officially wrapped up non-conference play. Grace’s first Crossroads League match is at home on Saturday, Sept. 25, against No. 7 Marian.