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Some Grace in the nets

Grace Hancock had to play as a goalkeeper during her team’s most recent game in the WPSL. And the former Washington State player did not only stand still, she was one of the best player of her team... Let's tell you the story.

Grace Hancock, central defender for Spokane Shadows, had to put the gloves on...

Fabrice Deschamps
From Amsterdam

When arriving at Spokane Shadow SC this spring, Grace Hancock gave an interview to the Spokesman-review, in which she said the following : "The first key is to integrate each player quickly and successfully. That really just means letting players be who they are on the field and work as a teammate. It is a team sport. You can’t play as 11 individuals on a field, you have to play as one large unit."

When saying so, the Boise native certainly did not know how accurate this quote would be a few weeks later. A very solid central defender at Washington State University where she was absolutely pivotal in particular on her Senior year, she came to the Shadows with the firm intention to also be the padlock of the WPSL team... But not to the extend she faced last week !

For the game against the ISC Gunners FC, a chain of absences forces the coach to take a radical decision : Grace would have to play in goals, a position she had not played since she was... 14 !

And not only did the graduate in kinesiology stand within the sticks, she excelled making save after save. So much so that she even earned the trophy of WPSL Save of the Week !

At the 68th minute, she was released and got back to her preferred position of central defender and was THAT close to make the story even better : on a corner kick she missed the target for a few millimeters. Too bad, but Spokane won the game nevertheless (3-1).

In the same interview, Hancock said : "we also want to improve each game – there are going to be ups and downs – because it is hard to throw together a team in the summer". It might be hard to throw a team together, but with players ready for such sacrifices, it looks to us that the Shadows are in good hands !

Watch the WPSL on MyCujoo