Women’s Soccer Secures Second Place in CL Tournament
In an impressive offensive performance, Grace’s women’s soccer team amassed 34 shots and three goals in a 3-2 victory over Marian in the league finale.
The win assures the Lady Lancers (10-6-1; 7-1-1 Crossroads League) the No. 2 seed in next week’s CL Tournament. Grace will host the 7th-seeded team on Saturday at Miller Field.
“The women ran the system well today, created quality chances and played collectively well to achieve what we needed to,” said Grace head coach Michael Voss. “The next seven days will be instrumental for us as we prepare for the tournament.”
Grace’s possession and offensive barrage wore down the Knights on Saturday. The Lady Lancers held a 34-6 shot advantage against Marian’s defensive lineup. Grace also took 13 of the match’s 14 corner kicks.
Mallory Rondeau nearly opened the scoring in the first five minutes of action. The sophomore forward collected a through ball, juked around the goalkeeper at the outside edge of the penalty box, but her shot rolled wide.
Erica Manchess netted the first goal of the game in the 11th minute off a well-worked corner kick. Kaitlan Wiles and Meghan Wiles earned the double assist.
Five minutes later, Grace had doubled its advantage. Kaitlan Wiles sent Jordan Hairgrove through Marian’s defense on the left side of the field. Hairgrove then slotted her shot past the charging goalkeeper from outside the box.
Carianne Sobey was a central figure in Grace’s efforts in the second half. She unleashed a shot from 25 yards away that clanged off the post. She hit her second post of the half when she tried to score near-post after breaking past Marian’s defense on the right side.
The Knights (3-14-1; 0-9 CL) scored on a set piece at the 68:09 mark on just their third shot of the afternoon.
Sobey’s hard work in the half paid off with 5:02 remaining in regulation. Kaitlan Wiles and Hairgrove sent two quick passes into the box, and Sobey chipped Marian’s goalkeeper for the team’s third goal.
Marian managed to produce a second goal less than a minute later when a long shot slipped past Carmen Barnhill into the net.
Hairgrove nearly had an answer to the Knights’ goal with a lofted shot that floated over the goalkeeper and bounced off the post.
Grace, who has appeared in the NCCAA National Championships in three of the past four years, will hope to advance to the NAIA Nationals by winning the CL Tournament. First-round games will be played on Oct. 26, semifinals on Nov. 2 and the championship will be on Nov. 9.