The men’s soccer team finished out their regular season last Wednesday hosting Indiana Wesleyan University in one of the most exciting games of the year. Coming into Wednesday’s game, the Leafs had lost five straight games to the Wildcats, and they were outscored in those games 12-2.
The Maple Leafs had a considerable number of opportunities during the first half, but Wildcat keeper Spenser Lang made seven saves to keep the score scoreless at halftime. “In the first half, I thought we did a great job maintaining possession and creating some chances,” coach Tavi Mounsithiraj said. “In part because of that, IWU was very dangerous on the counter-attacking, creating some arching crosses and heading opportunities, but we managed to keep them off the board.”
The second half offered a packed crowd and more of the same, with both teams attacking and forcing the defense to make plays. Both keepers were equal to the task as regulation ended with the scoreless tie intact. The first overtime period gave way to the second overtime period, and fatigue allowed for several scoring opportunities on both ends with Goshen keeper Ryan Troyer making a great save to keep the Leafs in the game.
Finally, in the 105th minute of play, Juan Diaz de Leon, a senior, made a run down the far side of the field before crossing the ball into the box, where it found the left foot of sophomore Connor Histand, who put it in the back of the net from short range to give Goshen the 1-0 victory. It was Histand’s first career goal. The victory clinched the No. 2 seed for Goshen in the upcoming MCC Tournament.
Wednesday’s game also marked Senior Night, honoring the 12 seniors on the Maple Leaf’s roster. Nine seniors started the game. During the 12 seniors’ time at Goshen, the Maple Leafs have accumulated an overall record of 62-27-9. Wednesday night’s game marked the first time this year’s seniors have defeated Indiana Wesleyan University in their careers.
“Overall, it was a great result for the team, we all contributed to the win, and we thank you fans for all the support to our seniors Luke (Woodworth), Kyle (Stiffney), Nick (Good), Scott (Wilkinson), Reuben (Stoltzfus), Jordan (Delp), John (Tamrat), Juan (Diaz De Leon), David (Shenk), Mark (Hershberger), Alex (Caskey), and Jake (Miller). What an awesome job all of you have done in the last four years,” Mounsithiraj concluded.
Goshen will host Spring Arbor University in the Quarterfinals of the MCC Tournament this Saturday, Oct. 31 at 7:00 p.m.