The Crusaders were disappointed in Wednesday’s match-up with the Tigers of Grace Bible College, falling short 1-0 at Henderson Field.
The first half didn’t see any goals, but it saw some opportunities for both sides. The defining element of the half, however, was physical play, and the two sides traded blows throughout. Unfortunately, what started with a handful of rough tackles, and well as a little bit of pushing and shoving, led to Crusader centre back Daniel Jehl taking a (accidental) cleat to the head, during a bout of play in the box at about the 22nd minute. He was knocked unconscious for a moment, was carted off the field and taken to the hospital.
The injury created a bit of a sombre mood for the rest of the half, which finished up 0-0 as the two teams continued to snap at each other.
The second half saw Grace take some measure of control. They held the majority of the possession, and kept Great Lakes backed up in their own half for most of the period. The Crusaders had a few chances to score, as in the 64th minute when Brandon Coleman had a chance, only to see the ball strike his arm and the play blown dead. It appeared as though Grace were about to take the advantage in the 72nd when they created a two-on-one chance against goalkeeper Jeremy Smith, but the two somehow managed to crash into each other, and Smith ended up with the ball.
Nevertheless, the pressure would finally break. Grace attempted a long throw-in deep in Crusader territory. The ball was struck hard, first-time, from about twenty yards out, deflected off a Great Lakes defender, and bounded into the net to give Grace the slimmest of margins. The Lakes tried valiantly to recover, but to no avail, and the Tigers got the 1-0 win.
“It would have been fair to end it in a tie,” head coach Justin Braman said after the game, “we (took) a bad bounce on a goal there. That happens, it’s part of the game. I think that today, it was pretty evenly matched.”
Game Notes: Daniel Jehl was taken to the hospital, the tests came back negative, and he will be okay. No word yet on when he will play next, although he is expected to miss Friday’s rematch with Grace. Also, St. Luc Picard, who did not play in this game, is expected to play in Friday’s game. Izzy Sesay was booked for a high kick, and Coleman was booked for his hand ball.
Up Next: Great Lakes and Grace will meet again on Friday, this time in Grand Rapids at 2:00 p.m.