Des Moines, Iowa - Despite a beautiful goal by junior midfielder Joanna Janulis (Bolingbrook, Ill./Benet Academy) from 35 yards out, the Saint Xavier University women's soccer team lost a hard-fought battle with No. 7 ranked Graceland University (Iowa), 2-1, to close out the Graceland/Grand View Invitational Saturday evening in Des Moines, Iowa. Janulis broke free down the middle of the field following a long, perfectly placed pass from sophomore defender Sara Cervenka (Sycamore, Ill./Northern Illinois/Sycamore) and sent her shot over the head of the keeper into the upper left corner of the goal. The Yellow Jackets improve to 3-0-0 on the young season with the win, while the Cougars drop to 1-1-0.
In the 19th minute of play, Graceland sophomore midfielder Gisela Arrieta put her team up 1-0 on a goal set up by an assist from senior defender Krishelle Ricketts. The Yellow Jackets would carry the lead into the intermission, but SXU would tie the game on Janulis' goal just seven minutes into the second half. Unfortunately for the Cougars, junior forward Karina Vega would break free for the go-ahead goal in the 65th minute and Graceland would hold on to capture the victory. Junior keeper Ashley Shugar (Lake Orion, Mich./Western Illinois/Lake Orion) played admirably in goal for SXU finishing with 13 saves against one of the NAIA's top teams.
Saint Xavier (1-1-0 overall) will co-host the SXU/Trinity Christian Invite next weekend and take on Lindenwood University (Mo.) on Saturday, September 4. The game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago.