Pictured is freshman midfielder Collin Cape on Wednesday
An 85th minute goal from a seemingly impossible angle lifted Grace’s men’s soccer team to a 2-1 win over Spring Arbor on Wednesday.
Freshman Damon Binkley scored the dramatic late winner to keep the Lancers tied for first in the Crossroads League.
The Lancers (8-4, 3-1 CL) were knotted 1-1 entering the final minutes. A well-worked attack from Mitchell Zeilenga, Kyle Hamlin and Damon Binkley resulted in a shot from Zeilenga that deflected off the post. The loose ball hugged the right end line and stayed inbounds long enough for Binkley to reach it. The freshman forward then blasted his shot into the far netting to give Grace the win.
“We are very happy for the victory tonight. We still have room for improvement in key areas. We had several chances earlier that would have taken some of that pressure off us at the end,” said Grace head coach Matt Hotchkin. “We have a young team, but they are showing the ability to play against anybody. Spring Arbor is an athletic team, and I thought our guys matched them.”
Wednesday’s game with Spring Arbor produced 37 shots. The Cougars (6-5-2, 1-2-1 CL), who are receiving votes in the NAIA Top 25, had a 23-14 advantage in shots during the match. Only six of Spring Arbor’s shots were on goal, however.
The game started with a balance as each side took shots on goal. The Lancers’ best look in the opening 20 minutes came on a cross from Josiah Osborn, which Nikola Djordjevic headed high.
Spring Arbor opened the scoring in the 28th minute, finishing off a cross from the right side.
It took Grace less than 10 minutes to respond. Thomas Tydeman swiped a ball from the Cougars’ defense, then placed his shot past the charging goalkeeper at the 34:48 mark.
The match stayed tied 1-1 through halftime up until the final six minutes.
Binkley led Grace with four shots while Collin Cape added three. Daniel Smith and Hamlin each fired two shots.
Goalkeeper Robbie Barnhill picked up the win in goal for Grace, making five saves in 90 minutes.
“Now we prepare for another tough conference opponent on Saturday,” Hotchkin said. “The daily preparation has been really fun with this team. They are always willing to try new things.”
The Lancers will host Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Saturday at 7 p.m. to wrap up the week.