Though the women’s basketball team fell to Taylor University on Saturday, the Maple Leafs stepped off the court with a sense of dignity, having finished the game with only four active players for the final four minutes.
With the absence of co-captain Krystal Duensing, a senior, and Rachel Allen, a sophomore, along with a roster of various injuries, the Leafs were forced to face the No. 19 team in the NAIA with six active players.
Despite the small roster, the Leafs proved at the onset that they would not be limited by their numbers.
“We were actually outscoring them in the second half until we had to go to just four players,” said Goshen College Coach Steve Wiktorowski.
Available players began to dwindle when Cassie Grieves, a sophomore, fouled out and Heather Hahn, a junior, sustained a significant injury. With four minutes left on the clock, Hahn caught a rebound and proceeded to drive the ball to the basket when she rolled her ankle, sending her to the ground.
“I didn’t think it was that bad,” said Hahn, “and even tried to go back in and play on it before Coach took me out and told me I was done for the night.”
The seriousness of the injury became apparent to Hahn when her X-ray the next day revealed a chipped bone in her right ankle. It is currently uncertain if Hahn will return anytime soon as she waits for final approval from her doctor.
The game ended with a 72-47 loss for the Maple Leafs.
According to Coach Wiktorowski, Goshen’s determination under such circumstances came as a surprise to some. “Even many of the players on the other team praised our girls,” Wiktorowski said.
Despite their current Mid-Central College Conference record of 1-13, Wiktorowski holds his Maple Leafs team high in regard. “I have never been more proud of a team than I am of this one,” he said. “Their record in no way shows what they have accomplished and the respect they have gained from others by their competing through the most trying of circumstances.”