Grace scores twice late to stun MVNU
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – If you look up the word “resilient” in the dictionary, you just might see Grace’s men’s soccer team pictured.
The Lancers were facing a 1-0 deficit with eight minutes left against Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Wednesday in a crucial late-season matchup.
After the dust had settled on the final frantic eight minutes, the Lancers came away with a 2-1 victory at 1st Source Bank Field.
The win means the Lancers (8-4-4, 5-2-1 Crossroads League) can secure second place in the league standings on Saturday by beating Goshen. Saturday’s match at Goshen is the regular season finale and starts at 7 p.m.
The Cougars (7-10, 2-6 CL) scored in the opening five minutes of the match, putting Grace in an aggressive position for the rest of the half.
The Lancers dominated possession and chances for the rest of the match in pursuit of an equalizer. For the match, Grace outshot MVNU 22-7 and had a 6-1 advantage in corner kicks.
On a frigid fall night, Grace had to wait nearly 83 minutes to find an equalizer. The game-changing moment came on a free kick.
Breno Oliveira tried a low, hard shot on the free kick from well outside the penalty box. His shot was blocked by MVNU’s goalkeeper and rebounded softly inside the penalty box. Damon Binkley alertly possessed the ball and laid back a pass to Ulisses Miranda, and Miranda finished off his shot in front of the goal at the 82:54 mark.
Grace continued to attack and soon after found a well-worked winner. Miranda and Joshua Coupar combined on an intricate give-and-go play on the left side of the box. Coupar then quickly passed to Nikola Djordjevic in the center of the box, and Djordjevic finished off Grace’s comeback by slamming his shot into the net in the 88th minute.
Of Grace’s 22 shots, eight were on goal. Oliveira tried five shots, and Colin Cape had four. Cody Boerema and Miranda each had three shots.
The match was physical, featuring 24 fouls and eight yellow cards.