Grace kickers fall to Providence

MARYSVILLE — Despite being understaffed, the Grace Academy soccer team showed improvements over its last encounter with Providence.

However, the Eagles still lost, falling 2-0 in the Oct. 17 game at the Marysville Soccer Complex.

Without several key upperclassman players, the Eagles were without their offensive firepower. They were also just one man over the minimum roster.

“We had some subs playing all 80 minutes,” said Grace coach Mark Ruhlman.

Thanks to an effective sweeper and a potent offense, Providence kept the Grace defense on their toes for much of the game. Junior goaltender Garrett Weinberg directed the defense, calling out match-ups for his defenders and the Providence wings. As a result, the Eagles prevented Providence from scoring either of their goals from any the game’s numerous corner kicks.

Weinberg also enjoyed some dramatic saves, including one about midway through the first half when the ball was just inches out of the goal. Weinberg turned around looking for the ball, kicking it out and blocking the rebound.

Unfortunately, a couple of minutes later, Providence added their first goal.

The Eagles enjoyed more success driving into Providence territory in the second half. About five minutes into the second half, junior wing Enrique Kramer single-handedly ran the ball down the left sideline with two opponents on his tail. The drive set up a Grace kick that nearly landed in the goal.

But as with Providence’s first goal, they added their second shortly after a promising Grace play.

The visitors had a chance to make it 3-0 on a penalty kick with 10 minutes left, but the ball flew over the net and no more goals would go up.

Ruhlman said the team showed improvement against Providence after losing to them 5-1 a week earlier with a full roster.

“We didn’t score, but we did a lot better,” he said.

Ruhlman added praise for his goalkeeper Weinberg, who seemed to help lead the team as much from the net as his coach did from the sidelines.

“He’s talkative in general. He’s a junior, one of our captains, and takes ownership back there,” he added. “There’s a few guys who haven’t played a lot of soccer, so he has to talk a lot.”

Grace remains 3-3 in league after the non-conference game.

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