Grace draws Marian in Showdown Top 20

WINONA LAKE – The NAIA Top 20 clash between No.16 Grace College and No.7 Marian lived up to the hype on Saturday night.

After 110 minutes of women’s football action, the two top-ranked teams were content with a 2-2 draw. Each team had a round with the lead at 1st Source Bank Field, but neither team was able to find the ultimate winner after two extra time.

Rookie Eliana Styer impressed the Lady Lancers, scoring one goal and assisting another. Madison Tuma also scored for Grace.

But in the end, two individual long-range shots from Marian were enough for the final score of 2-2 to start Crossroads League play.

Grace started the game as an aggressor, immediately securing some scoring opportunities.

Danae Moriarty had the best luck early in the game when she stole a pass and beat a defender in Marian’s penalty area. Moriarty’s shot was saved, however.

Alexis Larimore also had three first shots which were denied.

In the seventh minute, Marian’s first foray into Grace’s camp ended with the first goal. Grace lost possession in a dangerous position, and the Knights paid Grace off with a solid individual goal from Erin Oleksak.

Larimore almost scored an equalizer on her own. She dribbled half the length of the court, accelerated by a defender and fired a shot from a tight angle. But Marian’s keeper was up to it with a save.

The game turned into a midfield battle in the middle of the half-time, with Grace holding the better part of the possession.

Grace continued to find menacing chances and finally broke through in the 31st minute. Amber Meade landed a long free kick on goal. The goalkeeper put a glove on the ball, but Styer struck vigilantly on the rebound in front of the net to tie the game.

The teams entered the halftime level at 1-1. Grace had a 6-4 advantage in shots with four of Grace’s shots on goal.

The Lady Lancers also had the only two halftime corners.

In the second half, the Knights were much more focused on offense. The Lady Lancers played for possession but struggled to generate so many chances.

During one of Grace’s deepest strides towards the end of Marian, the Lady Lancers found a decisive goal. Lea Fricke played a smart header pass along the right edge of the pitch. Styer immediately passed through the center of the box towards Tuma, who placed his shot in the top 90 of the net at the mark of 66:19.

Grace’s 2-1 lead had a quick expiration date, however. The Knights only needed 15 seconds to hurtle down the field as Oleksak threw a 28-yard shot just below the crossbar to tie the score at 2-2.

Neither team could find a winner in the final 23 minutes of settlement, sending the game into overtime.

Marian had an eye for the goal in the first overtime, taking five shots in the 10-minute session. However, only one of those attempts was on frame, as the match ended with a final OT.

Grace was unable to produce a shot attempt in the final 10 minutes as both tired teams were content with a 2-2 draw.

Bethany Blackwood recorded nine saves in Grace’s goals in 110 minutes of action. Larimore’s three shots led Grace and Tuma made two more attempts.

“Our staff are so proud of our crew right now. They worked every minute tonight and maintained a high quality, ”said Grace’s head coach Michael Voss. “New players see better quality minutes. Kim [Aalbue] and Eliane [Styer] were of high quality, [Madison] Tuma has imposed himself in a big way, just like the Leas [Moessinger, Fricke]. It was great to have two players back tonight, and we should see the return of the other four soon.

The Lady Lancers will be on the road twice next week, playing St. Francis on Wednesday and No. 4 Spring Arbor on Saturday.

Throws fall in the league opening

INDIANAPOLIS – Grace College’s men’s football team abandoned their Crossroads League opener at Marian on Saturday night.

The Lancers faced the Knights (5-3-2, 1-0 CL) tied scoreless in the first half, but two second-half scorers defeated Grace (3-7, 0-1 CL).

The Lancers controlled the pace early, winning two corners and attempting two shots.

One of Grace’s best chances came from a corner. Jonny Mora crossed a ball to Dan Allen who managed to pass the ball past the Knight’s goalkeeper, but his effort hit the crossbar.

The Lancers continued to pound the Knights with shots, but failed to break the deadlock.

Grace dominated Marian 9-4 in the first half and held a 5-1 advantage in the corners.

The Lancers came out in the second half and again seemed to dictate the pace of the game, but it would be Marian who would ultimately score the game’s opening goal.

The Knights put the ball into the box and used a cross to open a clear eye on the goal. Matteo Conci took a dip, but Marian still scored to put the Knights ahead with 28 minutes left.

The teams traded chances late, but again, it would be Marian who capitalized with less than five minutes to go.

Taking advantage of Grace, who was sold out on offense to find the equalizer, Marian had a long counterattack that ended in a hard blow that scored from 23 yards.

The Knights’ second scorer essentially put the game on ice as Grace lost 2-0.

Grace led Marian 20-9 with nine of their attempts on goal. The Lancers also took advantage of an 8-4 advantage on corner kicks.

Conci made two saves in goal and Ze Maria Gonçalves led all players with seven shots.

Grace will be back in action Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. with the team hosting St. Francis.

Taylor Tops Lady Lancers

UPLAND – Grace’s volleyball team couldn’t claim the road victory at Taylor on Saturday.

The Trojans swept the Lady Lancers 3-0, with all three sets settled in the final points.

In the first set, the score was tied at 17-17. But a pair of 3-0 points gave Taylor some breathing space en route to a 25-20 victory.

Grace’s offense struggled with just eight kills and six errors in the set.

Taylor took a 22-18 advantage in the second set, but Grace showed her determination to fight back.

Jenna Mueller, Cassadi Colbert and Katie Swanson had back-to-back wins to bring the Lady Lancers down to one.

The teams traded points over the next five points, which was enough for the Trojans to secure a 25-23 victory.

The Lady Lancers’ offense was at its best in the second set. Grace had 15 kills against 13 for Taylor.

The Trojans held a five-point lead at the end of the third set at 22-17. Grace scored four straight points, starting with a kill from Anna Frey and ending with two aces from Morgan Syoen.

Soon after, Mueller’s kill tied the score at 23-23, but a Taylor kill and block ensured the set’s victory at 25-23.

Colbert had 11 kills to lead Grace’s offense and Syoen distributed 20 assists.

Mueller and Alisha Leffring each totaled seven assists, Muller adding four assists.

Gina Novotny had 15 digs and Frey 13 digs, 5 assists and 2 assists.

The Lady Lancers have a game next week at Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Wednesday.

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