After enduring ten straight losses, several injuries and multiple illnesses, the Maple Leafs prevailed over Spring Arbor University on Saturday, Feb. 21. Not only was the match-up a wrap for the season’s scheduled home games, but the victory also served as a noble send-off for co-captain Krystal Duensing, a senior from Osceola, Ind.
Jump starting the game with an early 12 point lead, the Maple Leafs immediately took control, setting the pace against Spring Arbor. By halftime, the Leafs managed to expand their lead to 15 points, finding strength where they had recently been falling short.
“We shot the ball well against Spring Arbor,” said Goshen College Coach Steve Wiktorowski, “and that has been one area of weakness lately with all our injuries and fatigue.”
The Leafs kept up the energy, breaking into the second half with a 22 point lead. The Cougars fought for a comeback, but failed in the end with a final score of 72-61.
Leading the team with a total of 21 points was Cassie Grieves, a sophomore, followed by Heather Hahn, a junior, racking up 19 points.
Goshen was determined to make Duensing’s last home game memorable.
“This game showed again,” said Coach Wiktorowski, “that our players would not give up and how much it meant to them to send our only senior out a winner in her last home game. The highlight of this game for me, was seeing the smile on Krystal’s face when she came off the floor at the end saying, ‘We won!’”
The following Monday, the Maple Leaf’s season came to a close in the post-season match-up against Grace College on Feb. 23.
According to Coach Wiktorowski, the team refused to back down despite their two leading scorers fouling out.
In the end, the final buzzer sent the Maple Leafs back home with a 79-66 loss, leaving them with a record of 7-24 overall and 2-14 in the Mid-Central College Conference.
“Our record was no indication of the competitiveness of this team,” Wiktorowski said. “They fought hard to overcome tremendous obstacles all year and I have never been more proud of any team I have ever coached.”