Both Goshen men’s and women’s soccer teams were in action this past Saturday as the men completed their long travel to Mount Vernon Nazarene University with a 1-0 advantage, while the women remained at home but fell to the same opponent by the same score.
Goshen’s lone score came in the 77th minute as sophomore TJ White broke through the Cougar defense to collect and capitalize a Nate Nussbaum, a junior, assist sent across the middle of the pitch.
The Leafs went in front and did not look back as the victory clinches the Leafs a spot in the end-of-the-year Crossroads League tournament. The win was their third in their past four tries.
“I felt very confident that we would eventually get the goal that we deserved,” said Goshen head coach Arron Patrick in a statement to GoLeafs.net.
“Credit MVNU for their hard work and forcing us to play quickly. They are a well-organized team that is tough to break down. They will do well if they make the tournament because they are one of the better teams we have played.”
Junior goalkeeper Johan Escalante racked up another clean sheet, saving six in the match and improving the program’s record to 11-3-2 overall and 4-1-2 in conference.
The shutout was Goshen’s eighth of the season, a feat that has not been accomplished since 1992.
On the women’s side, MVNU (9-5-1, 3-3-1) pressed Goshen’s defense from the get-go, forcing Goshen goaltender Katie Baer, a first-year, to make five saves in the first 16 minutes of play and 11 total throughout the 90 minute affair.
In the 40th minute, Rachael Graver struck home MVNU’s only score of the match off of a pass from Adison Preston.
The Cougars registered 14 shots in the first half to Goshen’s two.
The Cougars almost put another goal on the board in the 48th minute, with Megan Gibson’s try glancing off the crossbar before Baer made a save on the subsequent attempt from Kam Courtright.
The first of two Goshen shots on goal came two minutes later from Brenda Tellez, a first-year, whose attempts were saved by MVNU’s Madi Moore.
The Maple Leafs wore pink jerseys for the game, which were auctioned off to raise money for the HeartStrings Sisters program at the Goshen Retreat Women’s Health Center.
HeartStrings Sisters provides financial assistance for screening mammograms to medically underserved women in Elkhart County.
Between the jerseys and gate receipts, “Think Pink” Day raised nearly $1,000.
Both men and women will play their final conference match against Grace College this Saturday.
The women will travel to Grace as the men will stay in Goshen for 7 p.m. kickoffs.