Freshman goalkeeper Drew Smith (Petoskey, Michigan) has shown the importance of having
Grace Freshman Keeper Drew Smith
quality in net which was recognized by him being named to the Midwest All-Region Team, which is arguably the toughest region in the NCCAA. Drew started each of the eighteen games for the Tigers, logging 1,575 minutes in net. His efforts in net helped Grace hold opponents to two or fewer goals in twelve games this year, seven of which had one or less goal allowed. Doing so he earned three clean sheets along the way. “Drew was solid for us this year. His consistency was important for us and provided confidence throughout the team. Drew has only scratched the surface of what he is capable of. His desire for continued improvement is remarkable. This achievement is one that will inspire Drew. He is a player that will be encouraged and honored by the award but never satisfied and humbled. He will want to improve on this season going towards the 2014 season”, stated Coach Buchanan. Drew Smith stated “I am honored to be named in the Midwest All-Region team and want to thank my team because no individual gets an award without the support and play from them. It is a testament to hard work by all. Knowing that the family of coaches and players will give unconditional support whether it is in training or a game makes all the difference. It’s an atmosphere I am proud to be in and one that makes us want to work harder each day to improve”.
Drew Smith Makes Save
During the NCCAA Men’s Soccer Kick Off Banquet in Kissimmee, Florida Grace was
Kyle Rote Jr. Award Recipient Chris Thompson (Central) with NCCAA Executive Director Dan Wood (Left) and Coach Buchanan (Right)
well represented as Tiger’s senior captain was honored and took home the NCCAA’s most prestigious award, The Kyle Rote Jr. Award. This award is given to a player of junior or senior status who has displayed Christian leadership, academic excellence, and athletic performance. The award is named after Kyle Rote Jr, who played for the United States Men’s National Team and professionally in the North American Soccer League in the seventies. Coach Buchanan commented “What a great experience this trip has been and for Chris to be present to accept this award. Having the support from Grace to be present with Chris as he received this award was truly an honor and a special moment for him and the entire Grace family. It is a tribute to his dedication and passion for Christ as well as his leadership and athletic achievements. Dan Wood and Josh Beers are class and incredible representatives of the NCCAA. To hear NCCAA Executive Dan Wood pour out his passion for Christ and the NCCAA is inspiring. Being down here and having the opportunity to be there in support of Chris was fantastic. When you think about the NCCAA National tournament the first thing that comes to mind is the soccer and competition, but it is so much more which was evident after seeing it first hand. The reason we were present was for Chris as he was awarded The Kyle Rote Jr. Award which is a great honor for him and I personally have taken so much more back home to Grand Rapids. What a truly awesome experience this has been. I am extremely proud of Chris for this deserved achievement, and what he has meant to this program and influence he will continue to have.” To view the NCCAA Article click the link below. www.thenccaa.org/index.aspx?path=wsoc2
The Tiger’s season officially came to an end yesterday with a 5-1 loss to Moody Bible Institute. Grace found themselves down at halftime 0-1, but were upbeat going into the second half. The start of the second half was a nightmare for the Tigers. Grace took the kick off , played it back and a misplaced pass was picked off by a Moody player and the Tigers were punished for their mistake, conceding to a two goal deficit. The score line stayed the same for a good majority of the second half, then the Tiger’s clawed their way back when senior defender and captain Chris Thompson made a quality play on a ball which sent Asumani Iyakaremye into space where he cleverly finished narrowing the gap to 2-1. Moody would then take a 3-1 lead and it was a defeating blow late in the game, which they then found two more to make it a lopsided 5-1 loss for the Tigers. “We worked hard for the majority of the game. The seniors, Chris Thompson, Josh Armstrong, and Ryan Snyder left everything they had out on the field and I am proud of them and thankful to have had them. We just did not do enough, and that third goal really took a good amount out of us. The scoreline is not a clear reflection of how the game went and the effort my guys put forth, but in the end Moody deserved the win and I wish them the best going forward”, Coach Buchanan commented. Grace end the season 8-10 overall after playing possibly their most challenging schedule since the 2002 season.
Senior Ryan Snyder
Grace played host to Great Lakes Christian College and won by the score of 3-1. Grace came out on the cold day looking to defeat GLCC for the third time this year. After a back and forth feeling out process, Nate Colby and Asumani Iyakaremye entered the game and gave the team a spark. The Tigers got on the board when Cam Befus played a ball through to Aaron Wienss who beat the GLCC keeper to give the home team the lead. Shortly after the Tigers would double their lead, again coming from Aaron Wienss. This time sophomore Nate Colby made a fantastic pass and Wienss again made good on his chance. Grace would increase the lead before halftime as Josh Armstrong cleverly headed a ball back into play off of a corner which Cameron Toliver finish with a spectacular full volley blast. “We took a bit to get going in the first half, but once we did we were playing some quality soccer. Nate and Asu gave us a major boost and that was important”, commented Coach Buchanan. The second half of the game was choppy, as the game became more physical. Grace again scored, this time on themselves as the Grace defense tried heading a ball out off a corner and it deflected of another Tiger defender and into the goal. The Tiger’s would find themselves unlucky and squandered chances. GLCC would go down to nine men when a player picked the ball up and threw it at Grace player earning him an instant red card as things got interesting. “I was happy how we handled that situation. We did not react to the incident, and the official did a fine job of dealing with a heated situation,” stated Coach Buchanan. The Tiger’s will now travel to play the top ranked team in the Mid-West region and NCCAA Moody Bible College. They will travel to Chicago to play Tuesday the 29th with a 3:00 Central Time kick off.
The Tiger’s will be host to Great Lakes Christian College as the number four seeded Tigers will play the 5th seeded Crusaders, making it their third match against each other this year. Grace has came out victorious in each of the previous matches but by narrow margins of 1-0, and 3-2. “We are well aware of what they can do and we will be prepared. We have worked hard this season and will be focused this week on that match”, commented Coach Buchanan. The game will be played Saturday, October 26th at 1:00 PM on Velting Field located on campus.
Grace completed their last regular season game this weekend losing to Northland International University in Dunbar, Wisconsin by the score of 0-2. This was the tail end of four games in six days, which saw the Tiger’s to Rochester, Michigan, Berrien Springs Michigan back to back on Tuesday and Wednesday, then leaving early Thursday morning for the nine hour trip to Houghton, Michigan and then to Dunbar, Wisconsin on Saturday. Grace gave everything they had left knowing this was the last regular season game. “I thought we did a decent job and I am proud of the effort that the guys gave. Northland is a quality team and we played. We created some early chances but were not able to finish them. Drew made some fantastic saves for us to keep it within distance late in the game, and we again created opportunities to get one back, but failed to do so”, commented Coach Buchanan.
The Grace Bible College men’s soccer team traveled north to Houghton, MI to take on Finlandia University. The T
Asu takes it past a Finlandia defender
igers would come away with a hard fought and well earned 2-1 victory in a scrappy contest. The opening score came from Drake Olson, who took a pass from Aaron Wienss and slotted past the keeper to continue his good run of form in front of goal. Grace continued to create gilt edged chances but failed to further increase their advantage. The defense held Finlandia to 0 shots in the half. After a half time talk, Grace came out flying in the second half creating 3 great chances in the first five minutes. As in the first half they failed to convert. However, midway through the 2nd half the Tigers unlocked the Lion’s defense as Josh Armstrong converted from another Wienss pass. The freshman beat two defenders to the goal line and pulled the ball back to Armstrong, and he left no doubt where the ball would end up. Only a minute latter Finlandia would pull one back on their only shot on goal in the game. The Finlandia player took a shot from the right side of the penalty box which took a deflection and ended up in the far side of the net to make it 2-1. Grace was able to retake control of the game as it ended in a 2-1 victory. After the game Coach Grube said “I thought we played well over 3/4 of the field but struggled to put the ball in the net. If we had taken our chances the game could have been 4 or 5-1. But I have to give credit to the defense and midfielders for holding our opponent to only one shot on goal.”
Grace next travels to Dunbar, Wisconsin to take on Northland International University in a pivotal regional match up on 10/19 at 2PM.
Grace traveled to Berrien Springs to take on Andrews University and won by the score of 4-0. Grace looked in control from the beginning as they put pressure on the Andrew’s defense earning a early corner. Freshman Aaron Weinss sent in a quality service which was matched by the header from Cameron Toliver to give the Tigers the lead. Grace would double their lead shortly after as Aaron Weinss again made the opposition pay from a set piece, this time beating the Andrews keeper with a solid strike to give the two goal lead. Grace would take this lead into halftime. The Tigers came out in the second half and improved their play. Senior Ryan Snyder continued his quality play and found freshman Vasilij Kuiper who took the pass and blasted one into the net. Sophomore Nate Colby would finalize the scoring for Grace as he fired a shot into the back of the net giving the keeper no chance. Grace will now travel to Houghton, Michigan tomorrow in preparation to play Finlandia University on Friday.
Grace traveled to Rochester, Michigan to take on Rochester College. Grace headed to Rochester and during the ride they were informed the game time had been changed to 3:00 instead of 4:00 which gave the Tigers little time to warm up once they arrived. The Tiger’s were defeated by Rochester. “I thought we started strong, but the second half we did not play with the normal energy and that was the difference”, said Coach Buchanan. With four games in six days the Tigers featured every player in the game. They will travel to Berrien Springs, Michigan tomorrow to play Andrews University with a game time of 5:00 pm.