Lancers win historic league title in overtime
SPRING ARBOR, Mich. – History was made Saturday night for Grace’s men’s soccer team. Nikola Djordjevic’s goal in the 98th minute won the Crossroads League Tournament championship for the Lancers, coming from behind to beat Spring Arbor.
With the score tied 3-3 late in the first overtime period, Joshua Coupar sent a cross into the middle of the penalty box. Djordjevic, who broke his finger earlier in the match, reached behind and deftly backheeled a shot, which lofted softly over SAU’s goalkeeper into the back of the net.
The Lancers and the large contingent of fans who braved the 32-degree weather spilled out onto the field in mass euphoria.
Grace won its first championship in 25 years and clinched an automatic bid to the 2017 NAIA National Championships. Grace will be making its first appearance since 1982 — 35 years ago — at NAIA Nationals.
Grace will play an Opening Round match in the national tournament on Nov. 18 against a team to be announced. The NAIA selection show and bracket unveiling will be streamed live Monday at 1 p.m. here.
“I’m so happy for everyone involved. The guys went into the game with confidence, and we knew what we could accomplish tonight,” said Grace head coach Matt Hotchkin. “This is such a huge blessing, and we are really happy to bring a championship back to Grace. This was a full team effort, including a great group of Grace supporters who made the trip to Spring Arbor and also watched online from literally all over the world.” – from gclancer.com
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