Miranda nets game winner in overtime
CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio – Ulisses Miranda scored in the 108th minute to lift Grace’s men’s soccer team to a win over Ohio Christian.
Miranda’s goal was the only tally of the match, helping the Lancers (3-2-3) end the nonleague schedule on a high note.
Kurt Hamlin was stellar in goal for Grace, making six saves. He made one of the most important plays of the game in the second half, saving a penalty kick in the 71st minute to preserve the 0-0 scoreline.
The Trailblazers (1-6) looked strong to start Saturday’s match. OCU had an 8-2 shot advantage in the first half, including four shots on goal.
Grace was at its most dangerous on set pieces in the first half, amassing five corner kicks before halftime. But neither team could score in the first 45 minutes.
In the second half, Grace established itself as the aggressors. The Lancers held OCU to just two shots for the rest of the game, including both overtimes.
Grace, on the other hand, tried two shots in the first three minutes of the second half. They also had six more corner kicks and four shots on goal for the rest of regulation.
The final frantic minutes of regulation saw Grace take three corners and a shot from Miranda, but the Trailblazers held firm to send the match to overtime.
The first overtime session was unremarkable with just one shot attempted between both teams.
The second overtime saw fatigue and nerves set in. The 10-minute period had five fouls called and a yellow card issued in the first six minutes, but Grace proved to have the cooler head.
Miranda scored his unassisted game winner at the 107:08 mark, sending the Lancers home with a celebration to remember.
“We started off very slow today, so we are fortunate to come away with a win. I thought OCU was more aggressive than us for the first 45 minutes, but the second half and overtime seemed to go in our favor,” said Grace head coach Matt Hotchkin. “Kurt did a fantastic job reading the PK. We are glad to get the win, and now we will set our focus on the conference season.”
Hamlin had six saves in goal for Grace. Marcelo Talamas took three shots on goal to lead Grace’s offense, and Miranda, Damon Binkley and Nikola Djordjevic each had two shots.
The Lancers start the Crossroads League season on Sept. 30, hosting Bethel at 1st Source Bank Field.