By Seth Zimmerman
The Maple Leaf women’s soccer team matched its highest scoring output of the season Tuesday night against Saint Francis. While the visitors’ offense fell three goals short of its season high, that was still the story in a 6-3 Cougar win at the Goshen College Soccer Complex.
Less than four minutes elapsed before Saint Francis broke that tie when Kayleigh West knocked in a rebound. Maple Leaf Alia Munley, a junior, scored in the 30th minute, putting away a cross from Anneliese Baer, a sophomore. But only 76 seconds later, the Cougars took a 2-1 lead and Goshen was never as close as a tie again.
Baer figured in the second Goshen goal as well, a lob to the goal mouth that was scored by Emily Fretz, a senior, in the 62nd minute to make the score 6-2. Munley picked up her second goal six minutes later on a rebound to set the final score at 6-3.
Despite the high score, both offenses were efficient with their scoring chances: of the 16 total shots, 14 were on-target toward the goal, and nearly two-thirds of the shots on goal ended up on the scoreboard. That meant both goalkeepers finished the night with depressing stat lines: Goshen goalkeeper Natalie Thorne, a first-year, saved four of the Cougars’ ten shots, and Saint Francis’ Sammy Scaringelli allowed three goals on four Goshen shots.
The large margin permitted more players than usual to play: Goshen used nine subs to Saint Francis’ six. And even with the discrepancy in shot attempts, Goshen ended the night with more corner kicks than their opponents, 3-0.
With the loss, Goshen fell into a tie with Taylor for eighth place in the conference. That’s the final playoff spot, as only the top eight Crossroads League teams qualify for the season-ending tournament. The Leafs haven’t played in that tournament since 2007, but the odds for qualification may be in Goshen’s favor; their remaining conference schedule includes tenth place Marian and ninth place Taylor.
Goshen will return to the pitch Saturday night when they break their eighth place tie with Taylor. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Goshen College Soccer Complex.