Grace beats Huntington to reach semifinals

WINONA LAKE, Ind. – The Crossroads League Tournament started in victory for Grace’s women’s soccer team on Wednesday.

The No. 16-ranked Lady Lancers (17-2) won 2-0 against Huntington in the tournament quarterfinals, setting up a Top 25 rematch with No. 15 Marian in the semifinals. Grace will host the semifinals on Saturday at 2 p.m. at 1st Source Bank Field.

Within 10 minutes of action on Wednesday, Grace had two goal-scoring opportunities. Cassidy Wasson had the first chance, but her shot from an angle whistled wide.

Minutes later Allison Vroon weaved her way to the top of the penalty box. Her right-footed shot forced a diving save at the goalpost.

Grace continued to assault the Foresters’ goal, including a few long-range efforts from Joana Schimmel and another handful of chances in the box from Jenni Phillips and Shelby Fort.

The Lady Lancers’ pressure eventually broke down Huntington’s defense. Vroon beat a defender on the endline. Vroon’s lofted ball in the box was pawed in the air by Huntington’s goalkeeper, and Phillips pounced on the loose ball for the opening goal in the 29th minute.

Liz Van Wormer doubled Grace’s lead in the final minute of the half. She turned on her defender ripped a 25-yard blast just below the crossbar.

Grace went into halftime with a 2-0 lead; the Lady Lancers also held a dominant 13-2 advantage in shots and 2-0 edge in corner kicks.

The Lady Lancers continued to hold the better of possession and chances in the second half. Flavia Faria nearly scored midway into the half, but her headed effort glanced off the crossbar.

Grace had 13 shots after halftime, but the team was unable to add to its cushion. Wasson, Clair Snodgrass, Anna Kuhl and Sacia Hanson all had chances that were saved.

Bethany Blackwood, the reigning league Defensive Player of the Week, made two saves for her 15th shutout of the season. She was protected well by McKenna Cruz, Aubrey Feipel, Kuhl ad Liz Aalbue.

Schimmel had five shots, equaling the total amount of shots taken by Huntington. Overall, Grace owned a 26-5 shot edge while firing 13 shots per half.

Saturday’s semifinal showdown will be a rematch of the regular season finale, when Grace upset Marian in overtime on a memorable goal from Vroon.