Terrific 10; Grace beats MVNU for 10th straight win
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – The remarkable streak continued for Grace’s women’s soccer team. The Lady Lancers downed Mt. Vernon Nazarene 2-0 on Saturday for Grace’s 10th straight victory.
Saturday’s win sets up a first-place showdown next week. Grace and No. 1 Spring Arbor are alone atop the Crossroads League standings with 6-0 records. They meet on Wednesday in Michigan at 7 p.m. with sole possession of first place at stake.
The game on Saturday started as a midfield battle for much of the opening half. Teams struggled to connect in their attacking third.
The first truly threatening chance for either team came 20 minutes into the match. The Cougars (9-4-2, 3-3 CL) were fouled and proceeded to hit the crossbar on a free kick.
Grace responded right away. A strong run from Aubrey Feipel and Joanna Schimmel resulted in a shot by Jenni Phillips, but her attempt was saved.
The Lady Lancers (14-1, 6-0 CL) seemed to seize control of the game in the final 15 minutes of the half. Corinne Villalobos and Liz Van Wormer combined on an attack up the middle, but Van Wormer’s volley went high.
Sacia Hanson tried a left-footed shot that went wide, Schimmel had a hard shot that forced a diving save, and Allison Vroon’s shot in front of goal was blocked.
Grace ended the half ahead 13-4 in shots, including an 8-0 advantage in shots on goal. But the Cougars held on for a 0-0 scoreline at halftime.
Grace finally broke through the Cougars’ defense early in the second half. Vroon beat her defender on the left endline. She alertly picked out Schimmel who slotted in her shot.
The Lady Lancers continued to be the aggressor, peppering MVNU’s goal with shots. Cassidy Wasson nearly scored with a headed effort that missed wide, and Phillips had a low blast in front of goal that was saved.
Grace doubled its lead with 20 minutes to play. Wasson was fouled in the penalty box and cleanly converted her penalty kick for a 2-0 lead.
MVNU’s chances to rally were few and far between. The Cougars were held without a shot over the final 10 minutes en route to the final 2-0 scoreline.
Grace is enjoying its best start in program history at 14-1. The team’s streak of 10 straight wins ties the program record, set in 2009.
For the match, Grace outshot MVNU 23-9. The Lady Lancers had 13 shots on goal compared to five for the Cougars.
Bethany Blackwood saved five shots for her 12th shutout of the season, which leads the NAIA. Defenders Feipel, McKenna Cruz, Anna Kuhl, Clair Snodgrass, Liz Aalbue and Allison Vroon combined to keep MVNU off the scoreboard. Grace has incredibly yet to allow a goal in league play.