Lancers score five in rout of Bluefield
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Five different goalscorers lifted Grace’s men’s soccer team to a 5-2 victory over Bluefield on Monday.
Despite wild weather conditions, the Lancers controlled the match for most of the afternoon. The day was filled with heavy downpours and hot, humid conditions, seemingly alternating climates throughout the match.
Grace applied consistent pressure on Bluefield’s goal for much of the first half. In the 11th minute, Breno Oliveira played a pass in front of goal to Damon Binkley, but Binkley’s shot went wide.
Minutes later, Ulisses Miranda nearly scored on a counterattack. He beat two defenders but shot wide. Tyler Brueckman almost finished the missed attempt, but his sliding shot went into the side netting.
At the 18:51 mark, Grace scored off a corner kick. A loose ball was headed high in the air, and Colin Cape headed the ball toward goal. His attempt took a perfect bounce over the Rams’ goalkeeper and into the net.
Grace nearly scored again shortly after. Joshua Coupar unleashed a dangerous shot that forced a diving save. The Lancers put the rebound into the back of the net, but Grace was ruled to be offside.
Kurt Hamlin was strong in goal for Grace, making two diving saves before halftime to keep the Rams off the scoreboard.
Immediately into the second half, Coupar scored his first collegiate goal for the Lancers. He made an aggressive attack from the left side and smashed in a long-range shot past the goalkeeper.
Coupar then teed up Ivan Santagiuliana for Grace’s third goal in the 56th minute. Cole Voss and Brueckman almost scored on separate plays in the ensuing minutes.
The lead blossomed to 4-0 in the 66th minute. Togo Narusawa made a pass at the top of the box to Oliveira, who calmly beat the goalkeeper.
Grace eased up on its attack after the fourth goal, and the Rams took advantage. Bluefield scored twice in a five-minute span, quickly cutting Grace’s lead in half at 4-2.
In the 82nd minute, Grace tacked on its fifth goal. Oliveira played a dangerous ball near the goal. Damon Binkley was at the right spot to deftly redirect the cross into the net at the 81:47 mark.
“We are getting there slowly but surely. I thought we started with good energy given the heat and rain,” said Grace head coach Matt Hotchkin. “We had good defensive shape throughout with a lapse in the last 20 minutes where our positioning and communication dropped. Our offense has started to create better opportunities, and we still need to improve in that area. Thanks to everyone who showed up to support us on a very hot and muggy Labor Day.”
Grace held a 28-11 advantage in shots. Twelve of Grace’s shots were on goal, and the Lancers also added 15 corner kicks.
The Lancers are on the road for their next three matches, starting Friday with a match against Roosevelt at Chicago’s Toyota Park.