WINONA LAKE - Grace College’s men’s soccer team had a statement win over Briar Cliff in the Second Round of the NAIA Tournament on Saturday evening.
The third-seeded Lancers (15-4-2) scored three first-half goals en route to a 5-0 win. Grace will advance to the NAIA Round of 16 for the first time in program history.
Grace's opponent in the next round will be 14th-seeded MidAmerica Nazarene. The game will take place on Nov. 28, with the start time to be announced by the NAIA.
A trio of milestones were also reached in Grace’s second round win.
Grace head coach Arron Patrick earned his 100th career win as a head coach, 60 of them coming at the helm of the Lancers.
Martim Sequeira scored the 52nd goal of his career and his 20th marker of the season. He is just the 11th player in program history to score 20 goals in a season and the first to do so since Elco Harte scored 21 in 1994.
Matteo Conci also tied a program record; he tied Kurt Hamlin for most shutouts in a single season with 11.
After earning a first-round bye, Grace faced off against Briar Cliff who were 1-0 winners in the first round contest on Thursday night.
The Chargers looked ready from the jump and had a shot on goal just minutes into the contest. Conci made the early save for the Lancers who then began to assert their will.
Dan Allen had a pair of chances. Following a corner kick, Sequeira had an attempt slip wide of goal.
Sequeira had another near miss when he headed a shot on net but it was tipped over the crossbar at the last second as Briar Cliff tried to survive the Lancers’ onslaught.
The Chargers had a chance to counter after a Lancer turnover in the midfield, but were unable to capitalize as Gavin Morgan, Diogo Lopes and Antonio Lobo formed a formidable final defense.
Sequeira's milestone goal came with 18 minutes left in the first half and put Grace ahead 1-0.
Daniel Santos Rosa made a wide run on goal and crossed into the box. Frederick Christmann got a touch, and Sequiera quickly pounced on the ball and buried his shot for the game's first goal.
Just four minutes would elapse before Grace scored again.
Maxime Bregeon and Sequeira expertly worked the ball through the heart of the Chargers’ defense before playing it ahead to freshman Josh Cruz. Cruz chipped it over the goalkeeper’s reach to push Grace’s lead to two.
Despite leading by a pair of goals, the Lancers didn’t relent. Grace had a trio of chances and two corner kicks before scoring again with 3:21 left in the half.
The Lancers’ pinpoint passing opened up holes in the Chargers’ defense, and this time it was Kyle Holwerda who found himself alone in front of goal. Holwerda blasted a shot into the top corner of the net to push Grace’s lead to three goals as the game entered the halftime intermission.
The start of the second half was more subdued than the first with Grace having a firm grasp on the decision.
The Chargers tried a pair of shots on net but were unable to beat Conci.
With 20 minutes left in the game Grace was awarded a goal kick. Conci blasted a kick three-fourths the length of the field to Sequeira who immediately played it to Cruz; the freshman quickly beat the keeper for his second goal of the match. The assist marked the first of Conci’s career.
Grace’s final tally of the contest came courtesy of Joao Sousa. Fran Martin played the keeper out of position and passed the ball onto Sousa who had a wide open net to score Grace’s fifth and final goal of the game.
At the final horn the Lancers held a 15-9 shot advantage. Sequeira led all players with four shots. Conci made five saves in the shutout.
Gibbs Reaches 1,000 Points; No. 2 Grace Holds Off Knights
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Grace’s men’s basketball held off a pesky Marian squad in Indianapolis to kick off the Crossroads League season.
The Lancers led by as many as 23 points in the first half but had to execute down the stretch to win 86-75 on Saturday.
The No. 2 Lancers (7-0, 1-0 CL) remain perfect on the season after Saturday’s victory.
Cade Gibbs reached an individual milestone during the win. He scored 16 points, eclipsing 1,000 career points.
Four of Grace’s starting five have now topped the 1,000-point mark for their careers (Elijah Malone, Jakob Gibbs, Jake Wadding, Cade Gibbs).
The Lancers flexed their muscles in a big way during the first half. Back-to-back 3-pointers early in the contest from Jakob Gibbs and Malone put the Lancers ahead by four. But Grace was just getting warmed up.
Over a 10-minute stretch, Grace exploded on a 28-9 run. The Lancers scored quickly and constantly, connecting from the paint and from beyond the 3-point line.
With just under three minutes left, Grace found itself with a commanding 42-19 lead.
The Lancers charged into halftime with a 46-25 lead. Grace hit seven 3-pointers in the half, including a trio from Malone. Malone almost had a double-double in the half with 16 points and eight boards.
The Knights were held to 36 percent shooting and missed all 11 of their 3-point tries.
But Marian showed resolve immediately to start the second half. The Knights scored six unanswered points as Grace misfired on its first three shots.
Cade Gibbs helped Grace respond with five quick points. The Lancers’ lead hovered around 17 points for much of the second half.
In the final minutes, however, the Knights made one last desperate rally. Marian scored on 10 straight possessions, beginning with six minutes to play.
A jumper with one minute remaining slashed Grace’s cushion all the way down to 78-73.
Marian was forced to foul, and the Lancers hit eight free throws down the stretch to ice the win.
Grace shot a season-low 44 percent from the floor. But the Lancers helped their cause tremendously with a season-low nine turnovers. Grace also shot 32 free throws, the team’s second-most this year.
Malone finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks, and Cade Gibbs had 16 points and seven boards.
Jakob Gibbs scored 12 points with four rebounds, and Ian Scott amassed 15 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal.
Jake Wadding flirted with a double-double, finishing with eight points and nine rebounds, and Carter Stoltzfus hit a pair of triples for his eight points and three assists.
Brycen Graber handed out six assists, Brett Sickafoose scored five points off the bench, and Gage Sefton added three points.
The win sets up a showdown at home on Tuesday. Grace will host No. 11 Indiana Wesleyan for a 7:30 p.m. clash at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center. Tuesday will be a doubleheader, beginning with the women at 5:30 p.m.
4th Quarter Lead Not Enough As Lady Lancers Fall To No. 6 Marian
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Grace College’s women’s basketball team gave the sixth ranked Marian Knights all it could handle on Saturday afternoon.
The Lancers (3-3, 0-1 Crossroads League) had a fourth quarter lead but were unable to match the Knights fire power late as they ultimately fell 62-45.
The Knights (5-1, 1-0 CL) connected on their first four shots of the game to jump out to an 8-0 lead which prompted an early timeout from Grace head coach Dan Davis.
The Lancers’ first score was a trifecta courtesy of Bekah Marshall, but Grace’s offensive woes saw them trailing 10-3 at the midpoint of the opening quarter. The Lancers were 1-8 from the field with two turnovers five-minutes into the game.
Grace’s offense found its rhythm over the middle portion of the quarter and after five-straight points from Morganne Houk the game was tied at 12 apiece, which prompted a timeout from the sixth ranked Knights with 2:42 left in the quarter.
Following the timeout, the Knights closed the quarter on a 9-0 spurt to send the game in the quarter break with a 21-12 lead.
Kaylee Patton had the first score of the second stanza with a layup in the paint, but it was the defenses that ruled the quarter. The teams combined to come up empty on seven of the first eight possessions of the quarter.
Brooke Blaszczyk got Grace back within two points after connecting on a pair of free throws and a quick trigger 3-point shot.
Marian finally found the basket with just 3:35 left in the half to push the lead back to two possessions, but Maddie Ryman answered right to keep the Lancers right on the heels of their top-10 opponent.
After the Ryman score, Grace went scoreless over the final three minutes of the half and entered the intermission trailing 28-21.
Neither team impressed from the floor, as Grace shot 24 percent while holding the Knights to 32 percent shooting.
Grace turned the ball over eight times in the first half compared to Marian’s six turnovers. Freshmen Houk and Blaszczyk led Grace with five points apiece.
Marian stretched the lead to nine points early in the second half, before again being stymied by the ferocious Lancer defense.
Grace capitalized on a pair of trips to the charity stripe, and following a steal from Marshall that was capped off by a fastbreak score from Patton the lancers pulled within a single point.
Marshall again picked the pocket of a Marian player and this time it was Houk who finished off the fast break score to give Grace its first lead of the game at 33-32.
The Knights edged back ahead 38-35, but a last second driving layup from Ryman had Grace down one entering the final quarter.
Ryman made a nifty feed into the paint where Patton was waiting to recapture the lead for Grace but Marian answered back with a 3-point shot which started a seven-point run to push the Knights ahead 45-39.
A layup from Ryman did little to stall the Marian run as the deficit reached as many as 17 points.
Grace could not find the offensive consistency late to threaten the Knights one final time, falling by a final score of 62-45.
“Lot of credit to our ladies for being up a point on the No. 6 team in the country in the fourth quarter,” said Grace head coach Dan Davis. “We played really well and then in the fourth quarter Marian played their game really well. The final score was not an indication of how close this game was.”
Ryman and Patton led Grace with 10 points. Ryman also chipped in eight rebounds while Patton grabbed seven boards.
Houk scored nine points while also dishing out four assists. Marshall grabbed six rebounds and had a pair of steals.
The Lancers finished the game shooting 30 percent from the floor while Marian converted at a 38 percent clip. Grace had four more turnovers than Marian with 16.
Grace will return home for a game against No. 3 Indiana Wesleyan on Tuesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 pm.