Grace opens league play with road win
HUNTINGTON, Ind. – Grace’s men’s soccer team won a defensive struggle 1-0 at Huntington on Wednesday to kick off the Crossroads League season.
Wednesday’s match was a physical one, separated only by a penalty kick in the second half by Breno Oliveira. Beyond Oliveira’s goal, chances were hard to come by for either squad.
The first half featured twice as many fouls as shot attempts. The teams only combined for five shots in the first half, while 11 foul calls were made to go along with three yellow cards.
The breakthrough came just minutes into the second half. Togo Narusawa sent in a leading pass from midfield toward Nikola Djordjevic, who trapped the ball and shielded it away from Huntington’s goalkeeper. Marcelo Talamas picked up the ball and was fouled by the goalkeeper from behind while inside the penalty box.
Oliveira smoothly converted the penalty kick less than five minutes into the second half to give the Lancers (7-2-1, 1-0 CL) a charge.
The game continued in physicality and intensity throughout the second half, even including a red card to one of the assistant coaches for the Foresters (5-4-1, 0-1 CL).
In the waning moments, Huntington thought it had scored an equalizer. But the official waved off the goal due to a foul committed on Grace’s goalkeeper Kyle Hamlin.
Oliveira had three of Grace’s six shot attempts, and all three shots were on goal. Hamlin recorded two saves in 90 minutes to record the shutout, his fifth of the season.
Josiah Osborn, Brayton Taylor, Colin Cape and Ivan Santagiuliana maintained Grace’s defensive half and kept the Foresters off the scoreboard.
“Huntington is a solid team, and the guys knew that. Our goal was to make sure we were competing for every ball, and I’m proud of the guys for how they played from beginning to end. They played smart,” said Grace head coach Matt Hotchkin. “This is a great way to start the conference season, and I am excited to see what this team can accomplish.”
The Lancers are back on the road Saturday, traveling to Goshen for a 7 p.m. contest.