Aalbue repeats hat trick heroics
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – For the second time this week, JJ Aalbue terrorized opponents for No. 16 Grace’s women’s soccer team.
Aalbue picked up her second hat trick of the week – two in four days – to lead the Lady Lancers (8-1) to a 7-1 victory at 1st Source Bank Field. She also recorded three assists in a dazzling display.
Grace outshot Cleary 29-2 in the match, including a 17-0 difference in the second half.
Cleary shocked the hosts by scoring first. The Cougars (2-3) capitalized on a poor pass from Grace’s back line to score in the fourth minute.
Grace was calm in its response, applying consistent pressure on the Cougars’ half of the field.
The Lady Lancers knotted the game just over 10 minutes later. Aalbue beat a defender on the right side of the field and crossed a low pass in front of the goal. Liz Van Wormer pounced on the loose ball and blasted her shot into the back of the net at the 15:55 mark.
Aalbue took care of the rest. She scored two goals before halftime to put the Lady Lancers ahead for good.
Aalbue’s first goal in the 25th minute was a moment of individual brilliance. She collected the ball in Grace’s defensive third and charged up the left sideline. Aalbue took the attention of numerous defenders and still freed herself for a shot; the shot hit the back of the net in a split second, giving Cleary’s goalkeeper no chance to make a save.
Grace was patient in its possession attack, resulting in Aalbue’s second goal. Cassidy Wasson dribbled dangerously toward the top of Cleary’s penalty box. She cleverly slid a pass ahead to Aalbue, who finished her shot under pressure at the 39:10 mark.
The Lady Lancers led 3-1 at the half after holding a 12-2 shot advantage.
It took Grace just two minutes in the second half to score, sparked again by Aalbue. The freshman gained an edge on the right side and crossed to the near post. Van Wormer was there, similar to the game’s first goal, to finish off Aalbue’s assist.
Aalbue nearly had a third goal shortly after, but her shot clanged off the goalpost. Corinne Villalobos also had a shot bounce off the post.
Sacia Hanson, who had come close several times earlier in the half, found the back of the net. She sliced her shot to the far post and above the goalkeeper at the 62:54 mark.
Aalbue wrapped up her second straight hat trick a minute after subbing back into the game. The freshman found a sliver of space and hit a laser past the goalkeeper from an impossibly tight angle in the 71st minute.
The seventh and final goal was a well-worked free kick. Lea Moessinger and Aalbue combined to find Taylor Fort, and Fort scored her first collegiate goal at the 78:58 mark.
Madison Putman made one save to earn the win in goal. Aalbue tried 10 shots in the match, Van Wormer shot five times, and Hanson and Villalobos each shot four times.
The Lady Lancers start Crossroads League play next week. Grace is at Huntington on Wednesday to begin conference play. The Lady Lancers won a share of the league title in 2018 for the first time in program history.