Despite a 17-7 shot advantage against Marian, Grace’s women’s soccer team needed a golden-goal winner to beat the Knights 1-0 on Wednesday.
The No. 21-ranked Lady Lancers (11-3-2, 7-1 Crossroads League) clinched their fourth straight victory thanks to a 99th-minute goal from Meghan Wiles.
A yellow card from the Knights (8-6-1, 4-4 CL) gave Grace a promising position near the end of the first overtime period. Mallory Rondeau’s set piece found Meghan Wiles in scoring position, and Wiles gave Grace the 1-0 victory with the golden goal winner.
“The women put in a decent team performance today. They were very dominant in possession. They controlled the pace of the match but not at a high enough rate of speed,” said Grace head coach Michael Voss. “Marian was very tactical in eliminating quite a bit of space. We needed to be a bit cleaner, sharper and more direct going to goal. We got good minutes from a majority of players so that was beneficial in the long run. Our work rate was good, and the women produced numerous opportunities eventually resulting in a game winner.”
Grace’s first half saw a 7-3 advantage in shots. Grace nearly took the lead off the foot of Meredith Hollar, but the sophomore’s shot was denied by the crossbar in the 37th minute.
The Lady Lancers continued to assault the Knights’ net, earning a few breakaways from Hollar, Mimi Lozano and Rondeau. But Marian’s goalkeeper denied Grace the game winner in regulation.
Lozano forced a save from Marian’s goalkeeper within 30 seconds of the overtime period, and the team’s offensive edge continued throughout the period. Marian was held without a shot attempt while Grace eventually found the winner at the 98:26 mark.
Grace outshot Marian 17-7 overall in the match, including 8-2 in shots on goal. Marian’s physical play resulted in 18 fouls and four yellow cards being issued against the Knights.
Freshman Abby Schue picked up the shutout in goal for Grace, making two saves in 90 minutes. Heather Martin, Faith Voehringer, Meredith Matson and Erica Manchess made up Grace’s defensive line.
“At this point in the season, all the teams are familiar with us. There is no secret to what we’re doing, and each team has a plan to slow us down,” Voss said. “We need to adjust and find the way out quicker and more efficiently.”
The Lady Lancers wrapped up the No. 2 seed in the Crossroads League Tournament with the win. Grace ends the regular season on Saturday 7 p.m. at Miller Field against Taylor. Saturday’s game will be “Senior Night” and will feature a fireworks display after the match.