Offense powers Lady Lancers past Cougars

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Grace’s women’s soccer team beat St. Francis 3-0 on Saturday afternoon.

The No. 14 Lady Lancers (4-2-1, 3-2-1 Crossroads League) controlled the match from wire-to-wire, outshooting the Cougars 24-4.

Sophomore JJ Aalbue netted two goals on the afternoon and moved into 10th place in all-time goal scoring for the Lady Lancers.

Grace got off to a fast start and looked to put St. Francis (2-6-1, 2-3-1 CL) on their heels. Just minutes into the game, Aalbue had a chance from the top of the penalty box that forced a save from the Cougar keeper.

The Lady Lancers again threatened to draw first blood when Victoria Lucido tried a shot that clipped the crossbar.

Grace broke through for the game’s opening goal at the 15-minute mark. Alexis Larimore set up the score with a give-and-go pass, and Aalbue sent a curling shot on goal that found the back of the net from 20 yards away.

Less than a minute later, Aalbue scored again from nearly the same spot. Lucido passed to Aalbue whose shot deflected off a Cougar defender and past the helpless keeper.

USF seemed shell shocked after Grace’s second goal and had to withstand a flurry of Grace scoring opportunities.

Madison Tuma, Larimore and Aalbue showed great chemistry on the offensive end. The three attackers created numerous opportunities for Grace to extend the lead.

The closest Grace came to netting another goal came off from Aalbue. The prolific goal scorer blasted a shot on net that forced a diving effort from the Cougar keeper.

The Lady Lancers continued to pressure the Cougars but were unable to add to their advantage. Grace took a 2-0 lead into the half.

Aalbue led all players with eight first-half shots. Goalkeeper Bethany Blackwood saved the lone shot she faced through the first 45 minutes.

Grace controlled the opening of the second half and added to the lead in the 56th minute after a corner kick. Lea Moessinger crossed a corner into the box, and Brooke Kohler headed in Grace’s third goal of the match.

Grace produced a lockdown defensive approach and did not give up a shot on goal in the second half.

Aalbue continued to be an offensive force and nearly finished off a hat trick. She sent her ninth shot of the game on net that forced another spectacular save from the St. Francis goalie.

The Lady Lancers coasted for the final 3-0 scoreline.

Blackwood picked up her third clean sheet, and Kohler netted her second goal of the season.

Grace had 10 corner kick opportunities compared to just one from St. Francis.

Grace will next be in action on Wednesday at 7 p.m. when they take on No. 7 Indiana Wesleyan in Marion, Ind. The match will be considered non-conference as part of the revised soccer schedule.