Grace College Men 3, St. Francis (Indiana) 0
Grace’s men’s soccer team broke out of its scoring slump with a 3-0 rout of St. Francis on Wednesday.
The Lancers picked up their first Crossroads League victory of the young conference season as three different players found the back of the net. After two conference matches, the Lancers (4-7, 1-1 CL) find themselves in a tie for fourth place in the league standings.
Grace dominated possession of the ball, despite playing with a significantly shortened bench due to quarantines. The Lancers had only five field players available as substitutes, and the team used all five. Cole Voss began Grace’s scoring in the fourth minute. Voss swung a ball into a dangerous position from the right side of the field. USF’s goalkeeper could not handle Voss’s offering, and the ball bounced into the net at the 3:22 mark.
The Cougars (4-5-2, 0-2 CL) played defensively in the first half, even after Grace’s goal. The Lancers were content to own possession and search out passing lanes. Grace kept the ball in USF’s end of the field for most of the half, racking up seven shots and three corner kicks. But the Cougars managed to keep Grace off the scoreboard apart from Voss’s goal, and the teams entered halftime with Grace leading 1-0.
The Lancers needed just over 10 minutes in the second half to score again. Jonny Mora advanced the ball from deep in Grace’s end of the field and sent Tyler Brueckman on a run along the left sideline. Brueckman squared a pass on the ground to Martim Cardoso, and Cardoso quickly pivoted and fired his shot past the goalkeeper at the 57:22 mark.
The third goal happened nine minutes later, putting an exclamation mark on Grace’s performance. Mitchel Strawser put in the grunt work, winning a ball in the midfield and quickly distributing to Ze Maria Goncalves. Two quick touches on the ball set up Goncalves for a 30-yard blast, which cleared the goalkeeper and ricocheted into the net off the crossbar.
Goncalves celebrated with his teammates in front of Grace’s fans and took a well-deserved bow at the end. The Lancers ended the match with a 16-7 advantage in shots. Only three of the Cougars attempts were on target, although a few of these could have scored.
Matteo Conci was sharp to make three strong saves to record the shutout. He was protected well by the backline of Mora, David Koch, Colt Tanner. Kyle Holwerda made his Lancer debut in Wednesday’s match.
The Lancers remain at home Saturday for a meeting with Spring Arbor. The match will climax Grace’s Homecoming weekend. Kickoff is slated for 1:30 p.m. at 1st Source Bank Field.
Grace College Women 2, St. Francis (Indiana) 1
Grace’s women’s soccer team continued its strong start to the 2021 campaign with a 2-1 win at St. Francis on Saturday. The Lady Lancers (6-3-1, 1-1 Crossroads League) controlled the match, dominating with a 17-2 advantage in shot attempts. The Cougars (2-6-1, 0-2 CL) scored with their only shot on goal of the entire match.
Grace immediately pinned USF into a defensive formation with its possession to start the match. USF registered its only shot of the half in the 40th minute. The Lady Lancers had two shots on goal in the opening 10 minutes. Madison Tuma nearly opened the scoring 20 minutes into the contest when her shot off a free kick was punched just above the goalkeeper.
The game’s first goal occurred in the 22nd minute. Tuma found Sam Vondersaar running free on the right side of the field. Vondersaar crossed the ball in front of USF’s goal, and Lea Moessinger volleyed in her shot on the first touch.
Tuma almost found Grace’s second goal late in the half, but her left-footed, curling effort clanged off the crossbar. Despite 10 shot attempts in the half, Grace was unable to score again. The Lady Lancers led USF 1-0 at halftime.
Grace found its needed insurance goal in the 77th minute. The Lady Lancers advanced the ball on the right sideline and centered a pass to Moessinger, who alertly back-heeled the ball to Tuma. Tuma set up a shot for Helena Vieira Rijo, and she delivered with a curling goal past the Cougars’ goalkeeper.
The marker was the first collegiate goal for Vieira Rijo.
The Cougars only shot once in the entire second half and remarkably found the back of the net in the 82nd minute.
USF was unable to generate another shot attempt as Grace continued to hold control of the match. The Cougars finished with 2 shots, 1 shot on goal and 0 corner kicks. Conversely, Grace had 17 shots, 7 shots on goal and 4 corner kicks.
Moessinger led Grace’s offense with 5 shots, 1 goal and 1 assist, and Tuma had three shots and two assists.
“The women completed the game plan today. They stayed composed and collected and only were squirrelly the one time, which unfortunately conceded the goal,” said Grace head coach Michael Voss. “This conference is tough; we know each other well, and matches like today are common. USF played tough and did well. We were able to welcome two more players back in short minutes, and one scored so that is progress. We will continue to gain experience and will very soon have the whole squad back.”
The Lady Lancers are on the road on Saturday for a high-profile meeting. Grace will play at No. 4 Spring Arbor for a 7 p.m. showdown.
Rochester Boys 3, Tippecanoe Valley 2
On asn unseasonably warm, early fall night, Valley hosted Rochester on senior night to close out the home portion of their schedule. In a game that produced 80 minutes of non-stop action, the Zebras knocked off the Vikings 3-2.
Valley was playing very well to start the game. Jon Ruiz opened the scoring 20 minutes into the game to stake an early Viking lead.. However, Rochester was able to tie up the match on a breakaway goal prior to halftime.
At the half, Valley recognized seniors Caleb Petgen, Dawson Perkins and Alexis Hernandez. The three graduating seniors will be missed next season on the soccer field, but the team and crowd did a fantastic job of letting them know how much they were appreciated, according to Viking coach Andy Luce.
When the second half began, it was nip and tuck for 16 minutes before the Zebras broke the tie to go up 2-1. Ten minutes later, Valley had a ball in the box take a bad bounce which created a hand ball. Rochester converted the penalty kick to take a 3-1 lead.
At that point, the Vikings made a valiant charge slicing the lead to 3-2 on another Ruiz goal. During the final eight minutes, Valley had a couple of great chances to force a tie, but couldn’t convert. The game ended 3-2, Zebras.
Valley closes out the season with a trip to LaVille at 5:30 Thursday.