Friday afternoon in Grand Rapids saw the visiting Pioneers of Northland International University challenging the Tigers of Grace Bible College. The match was a close battle and could have gone either way. However, in the end the Pioneers edged out the Tigers 1-2.
The Pioneers started out the scoring only 8 minutes into the match on a penalty kick. Kerie Rudd read the shooter correctly getting her hand on the shot but it still had enough power to roll into the net. The Pioneers continued to possess play throughout the remainder of the half and scored on a corner kick with only 37 second left.
The Tigers made several lineup adjustments and the changes paid dividends. GBC had several quality goal-scoring opportunities and finally got the break they were looking for with a handball call in the 18. Kerie Rudd took the penalty kick and finished it beautifully, placing it in the side netting. Grace had a few other great looks on net but simply weren’t able to capitalize. Northland ended with 13 shots on frame to the 7 shots on net for the Tigers. Kerie Rudd made 11 saves in net.
The Tigers ended the season with a 5-13 record. In their third season as a varsity program the Tigers set records in many area some of which were fewest goals allowed, most goals scored, and most wins in a season.
“We knew we were going to have to play a very good match in order to compete,” commented Coach Vissia. “We played hard but committed crucial fouls and allowed too many corners. The effort was there but unfortunately, the results were not.”
The Lady Tigers will have their season-ending banquet on 11/4 at 6:00 pm to reflect on the accomplishments of the year.
Kayleigh Holton containing her mark.
Grace traveled to Indiana to play Purdue Calumet on Saturday afternoon. The results were not favorable for the Tigers as they came out flat and were smothered by the Peregrines the entire first half. When the smoke had cleared, the Lady Tigers found themselves down 0-6 at the half. GBC did play better in the second half only allowing an additional goal. The final was 0-7 in the Lady Tigers’ worst lose of the season. Purdue Calumet outshot Grace 33-1 and Kerie Rudd recorded 26 saves in net.
Laura Vinton tracking back with her mark.
“Although the end result wasn’t a positive one, I believe we still learned from this match,” stated Coach Vissia. “We still have the goal of improvement and are looking forward to quality play in the regional tournament.”
The Tigers ended the regular season with a 5-12 record. Goal production was significantly up, goals allowed were significantly down, and the Lady Tigers had an improved record from last year. The building process is continuing at Grace and results have been seen each season.
The Lady Tigers had won 3 of their last 4 matches coming into Friday’s game against the Lions of Finlandia. GBC was hoping to make it 4 out of their last 5 when the evening was over and they did just that. Finishing didn’t come easily for Grace in the first half as good opportunities were repeatedly squandered. However, with 15 minutes left in the half the Tigers got the break they were looking for in order to take the lead. A ball was crossed over and Laura Vinton made a break on the ball with the Finlandia keeper coming hard. Vinton won the race, took a shot, but it deflected off the keeper to a charging Sarah Steenwyk. Steenwyk was able to finish the ball giving the Tigers the 1-0 lead. Another excellent opportunity presented itself for Grace with 45 seconds left in the half. Destiny Banasihan ripped a shot from 20 yards that was headed for the upper 90 only to be denied by the Lion’s keeper who made an amazing punching save. The score was tight at the half with GBC up 1-0.
The Tigers were able to make a few slight adjustments during the break and the team came out hungry ready to expand their lead. Vinton scored 14 minutes into the second half off an assist from Steenwyk, two minutes later on an assist from Banasihan, and finally on yet another ball from Steenwyk. Vinton’s three goals marked only the second hat trick in GBC women’s soccer history. The Lady Tigers weren’t finished yet as Courtney Glinka added to the lead on Maggie Segalla’s pass. The goal with Glinka’s first of the season. The final tally was added by Jessica Pegg on a slotted ball from Steenwyk. The Tigers outshot the Lions 23-5 and Kerie Rudd posted her second shutout of the season while making 5 saves.
The Tigers travel to Purdue Calumet Saturday for a 1:00 match against the Peregrines. The game will be the last regular season game for the Lady Tigers who are preparing for regional play next week.
The Lady Tigers were coming off three games in a four day stretch Monday afternoon as they took on the Pioneers of Northland International University. The fatigue showed early as GBC simply struggled to keep pace. The Pioneers ended up cracking the crossbar on a set play then following it up with a goal. However, the second half proved to be more competitive as the Tigers started to create a little more space. The follow up goal was enough in the end and the Pioneers simply outlasted the Tigers.
“We were lethargic at first but I felt the second half was a little cleanier,” reflected Coach Yon. “It wasn’t a pretty match offensively for us but I believe a lot of that had to do with the Pioneer defense. They did a nice job of shutting down our angles and collapsing on our attackers.”
The first game of the regional tournament will see a rematch of tonight’s match. Northland will be the home team and the #2 seed and Grace will be the away team and the #3 seed. The game will be played at GBC. The winner of the game on the 10/26 will face the winner of the Maranatha v. Lincoln match slated for earlier that same day.
Erin Befus did a great job marking the potent attackers of Mount Mary.
The Grace women’s soccer team has quietly put together a nice little winning streak. The streak started a week ago against Lincoln Christian with a 3-0 win, followed by an exciting 3-1 victory at home against the Trailblazers of Ohio Christian, and finally a gritty 2-1 performance at Mount Mary College. The Lady Tigers made the trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin Saturday for a 1:00 meeting with the Blue Angels.
Things started out well for the Tigers as Destiny Banasihan cracked a shot on frame that bounced off the keepers hands to a charging Laura Vinton. Vinton was denied by the Mount Mary keeper as well but Sarah Steenwyk followed her shot making sure there would be no rebound. Steenwyk’s goal put GBC up 1-0 in the seesaw battle. There were many near miss opportunities for both sides but neither could capitalize. With only 30 seconds left in the first half the Blue Angels were able to knot the score and tie the match. The goal changed the complexion of the match but only seemed to increase the resolve of the Tigers. Once the second half began it became obvious that the Lady Tigers were determined to press until a goal was obtained. For 35 minutes shot after shot was taken by GBC only to be repeatedly denied. Finally, with only 10 minutes remaining in the match, Banasihan placed the ball on the foot of a streaking Vinton who chipped the keeper with her left footed shot skimming the crossbar and darting into the back of the net. For the final 10 minutes of the game the Tigers played conservatively to preserve the win.
Kayleigh Holton looks to distribute up the line.
“Once again, we were very pleased with the effort put forth by the girls,” said Coach Yon. “Although September was a difficult stretch, I believe the girls are starting to peak and perform like we know they are capable of playing. There is still room for improvement but we are certainly taking steps in the right direction.”
The past three wins have come at an excellent time as the regional tournament approaches. The final weeks of the season sees the Tigers playing matches at a furious pace. On Monday GBC will see their third game in the past four days. Northland International University will come to town to play a 4:00 game.
Courtney Glinka defending a Blue Angel midfielder.
Sarah Steenwyk had two assists in the match Friday afternoon.
The Grace Tigers were coming off a solid performance and win against Lincoln Christian. The team was looking to duplicate the outcome on Friday afternoon of homecoming weekend. Although the Lady Tigers started strong and possessed well, the Trailblazers struck first less than ten minutes into the game. Grace answered quickly as Destiny Banasihan struck a well placed ball she received from Sarah Steenwyk. The goal knotted the score at 1-1 shifting the momentum in favor of the Tigers. Olivia Rigg answered the call next as she won a 50-50 ball, kept the defender on her hip, and slid the ball past the keeper. The final goal of the half came once again from Banasihan. Steenwyk surveyed the field patiently and dropped the ball back to Banasihan at the top of the 18. Banasihan left no doubt with the shot as she finished it side-netting. The score was 3-1 at half and it remained 3-1 during the second half of play. The Tigers played very compact in the second half making it difficult for the Trailblazers to find any space.
Destiny Banasihan had two goals including the game-winner against the Trailblazers.
“This was a huge win for us,” stated Coach Vissia. “It was exciting to see that the girls continued to fight for the win even though we went down early. It was a quality win against a quality team. We’ve never beaten a ranked team before and it shows the determination and improvement that is being displayed. It’s the first time we’ve had back to back wins and we are hoping to get another one tomorrow against Mount Mary.”
The Tigers dropped a close match two weeks against the Blue Angels 3-4 at GBC. Tomorrow’s match will be played in Milwaukee with a game time of 1:00 pm.
Erin Befus containing her mark.
The Lady Tigers traveled to Lincoln, Illinois for a Saturday match up against regional foe Lincoln Christian. The wind certainly played a factor in the outcome of the match as wind speeds reached up to 25 mph. The Tigers were against the gusts in the first half and yet managed to put together a solid 45 minutes of possession. The match was back and forth until Jessica Pegg found Kerie Rudd 35 yards out. Rudd quickly placed the ball on the foot of a streaking Laura Vinton. Vinton made a sharp cut, felt pressure, laid out for the ball, and placed it with her left foot just passed the outstretched hands of the opposing keeper. The score was 1-0 at halftime.
Kayleigh Holton looks up the line on a throw-in.
The start of the second half immediately changed the complexion of the game. Just a minute into the half, Vinton found Rudd as the two players reversed roles. The goal gave the Tigers a little breathing room and the ability to make the back a little more compact. The final goal of the game was scored ten minutes later off a corner kick. Vinton again found Rudd who hit a well placed rising ball into the back of the net. The girls held on from that point on and maintained the shutout in the process. Three Tiger keepers played a role in the shutout with Rudd (5 minutes), Courtney Glinka (75 minutes), and Destiny Banasihan (10 minutes) all taking their turn.
“We still have injuries and individuals playing in positions that they aren’t familiar with,” stated Coach Vissia. “The girls really came together and played as a team this afternoon. Everyone played for each other and the results were fun to watch. They showed a lot of heart today and wanted this win badly.”
Ohio Christian will come to town next Friday afternoon. The Tigers will attempt to avenge an earlier loss to the Trailblazers. Game time is scheduled for 2:00 pm.
Jessica Pegg taking a set play in the second half.
The Lady Tigers traveled down to Berien Springs, Michigan Tuesday afternoon to face the Cardinals of Andrews University. The ladies came out with passion and when the first half dust had settled the match remained scoreless. Unfortunately for the visiting team the tie didn’t last long in the second half as the Cardinals netted three goals in the next twenty minutes.
Once again the injury bug bit the Tigers. “The girls ended up playing several positions that they weren’t familiar with,” commented Coach Heger. “We certainly appreciate their willingness to be placed in uncomfortable situations for the benefit of the team as a whole. We are anxiously anticipating the day when we have our entire team. The extra depth has been missing all year and that luxury will prove to be crucial during the home stretch of the season.”
The Tigers travel out to Lincoln, Illinois to play Lincoln Christian University on Saturday afternoon. The match is an important one as it is against a regional foe. Match time is slated for a 1:00 start.
Just 15 hours after playing Cornerstone in an emotionally charged match, the Lady Tigers were back on the pitch Saturday afternoon against Mount Mary. Things looked promising early for the Tigers as Kerie Rudd netted the first goal of the match off of a corner kick. Mount Mary answered quickly with three goals in the first half. Although the score was 3-1 at half, the Tigers were confident that a turnaround could occur. Possession favored Grace and it was simply a matter of finishing the opportunities that were available. Ten minutes into the second half the Tigers got the break they were looking for when Mount Mary handled a ball in the box result in a GBC penalty kick. Rudd again made good on the opportunity narrowing the deficit to 2-3. Although it didn’t come easily, the Tigers’ continuous attack finally saw results when Laura Vinton knocked a ball wide to Olivia Rigg who cracked the right post landing the ball on the foot of Destiny Banasihan. Destiny finished the chance knotting the game at 3-3. Grace had many more opportunities in the final fifteen minutes of play but Mount Mary capitalized by counterattacking and finishing the final goal of the match with four minutes remaining in the contest. Grace outshot Mount Mary 18-8.
The Grace Lady Tigers participated in a Night of Nets with Cornerstone University Friday night. The idea of the cross-town game was to raise money in order to provide malaria nets for individuals in Africa. The night proved to be a great success as the crowd was large and several thousand dollars were raised.
“Life is obviously bigger than soccer and the team was able to help raise money that could potentially save many lives,” commented Coach Heger. “Our girls set up a fundraiser, gave out of their own pockets, and student government also chipped in a nice chunk of change. The heart shown was certainly impressive.”
The game was also played with heart as the Tigers’ compact defense kept the Golden Eagles out of the back of the net for the first 60 minutes of play. Cornerstone finally broke through and in a twenty minute span netted four goals. The final was 0-4 in favor of the Golden Eagles.
“We always look at the play, not necessarily the result,” stated Coach Yon. “I believe we will be able to build off of this experience and the positive emotions from the match. It was a lot of fun watching the girls play with determination.”
The Lady Tigers will turn around quickly and play Mount Mary from Wisconsin in an afternoon match on Saturday.