The Goshen College men’s soccer team traveled to Baldwin City, Kansas last weekend for a pair of games as part of the Baker Tournament. The Maple Leafs lost to 10th ranked Baker University 3-0 Friday afternoon, then turned around and beat Graceland University 3-0 on Saturday.
On Friday, Baker defended their home turf right from the start, tallying twice in the 8th minute. Steeve Pouna connected with a long throw in and headed the ball off the post and across the goalmouth, where teammate Blake Levine finished home the loose ball for the 1-0 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff Baker (3-2) immediately took possession and Keaton Anchors slotted a through ball to Austin Halsey and just 10 game-seconds after Levine opened the scoring, Halsey’s shot slid into the back of the net to double the Wildcat lead, 2-0. Baker continued their offensive push the rest of the half but neither team scored before the break.
Heading into halftime Baker held a dominating 10-3 shot advantage while Goshen (1-2-3) edged the Wildcats 2-1 on corner kicks. Johan Escalante, sophomore, made three saves for the Maple Leafs before being subbed out at the midway point.
The second half brought more Wildcat intensity, and in the 56th minute, Pouna received a through ball and after taking a few dribbles, calmly put the ball past the keeper for another insurance goal for the final score of 3-0 in favor of Baker. Goshen’s only registered shot of the second half went to Nate Nussbaum, sophomore.
Baker finished with a 15-4 shot advantage and 6-2 corner kick edge. Goshen committed nine fouls while the Wildcats were whistled for 10 violations. Oliver Wisseman, junior, and Tyler Born, sophomore, took turns in goal for the second half, with Wisseman making two saves for the Maple Leafs. Nick Riggle earned the shutout in goal for Baker.
Saturday was a much different story for the Maple Leafs, as Nussbaum tallied twice after Ollie Smith, first-year, opened the scoring in Goshen’s 3-0 victory over Graceland University.
Wasting no time getting on the scoreboard, in the 4th minute, a Goshen (2-2-3) free kick near midfield was driven by Ethan Francois-Ravalier, sophomore, towards the top of the box. Tevin Gilkes, sophomore, volleyed the ball over the defense to the right side of the box for Smith, who drove his shot over the keeper and into the net for the early 1-0 lead.
The Maple Leafs dominated possession and momentum throughout the game against Graceland (2-3), who opened their season with a 2-0 victory over 4th ranked Lindenwood-Belleville. In the 38th minute, that control bore more fruit as Smith played a corner kick to the top of the box where Nussbaum settled and then blasted a shot into the far side of the goal for the 2-0 lead.
Heading into halftime Goshen held a dominating 10-5 shot advantage and 6-2 edge on corner kicks. Escalante made three saves in the half for the Maple Leafs.
Coming out of the halftime break, Goshen continued pushing, however this time the Yellow Jackets pushed back. Graceland won the shot count in the second half 7-3, but in the 74th minute it was the Maple Leafs who prevailed. Goshen’s Ari Benjamin, junior, knocked down a pass at the top of the 18-yard box for Nussbaum, who ripped a shot past the keeper and into the right side netting for his second score and the final 3-0 score line.
Goshen finished with a 13-12 shot advantage and 7-4 corner kick edge. Graceland committed seven violations, while the Maple Leafs were whistled eight times. Escalante finished with four saves, while Born played in goal for the final 10:12, recording three saves. Mitchell Hart made two saves in the loss for Graceland.
Goshen returned to action Wednesday night when they wrapped up their non-conference schedule in Fort Wayne against Indiana Tech, however the game was not finished by print deadline. The team opens conference play next Wednesday when they return to Fort Wayne to take on the University of St. Francis at 7:00 p.m.