As the 2019-2020 fall seasons are underway, Victor Newberg, the new head men’s soccer coach is leading the Maple Leafs in his first season at Goshen College. Currently the Leafs are on a two-game winning streak, giving them a record of 2-4.
Newberg, who grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, stayed in the Midwest when he decided to continue his soccer career as a player at St. Norbert College in Wisconsin. After graduating and moving to South Bend, Indiana, he found his passion for coaching when he began coaching youth soccer.
Coaching at the college level, however, is nothing new to Newberg as he spent the last two years coaching at Trine University in Angola, Indiana. He was able to turn the program around as he led the team to 18 wins in his two seasons there. In the previous season before Newberg began coaching at Trine, the program had won zero games.
Prior to Trine, Newburg spent two years at Ancilla College in Donaldson, Indiana, one year as an assistant coach and the other as the head coach.
Now, Nerberg is in his first year coaching the men’s program at GC and is excited to begin his journey.
“I liked the diversity aspect and the uniting of cultures and beliefs. It’s a Mennonite faith-based university, but the school is very inclusive and I think that really attracted me,” Newberg said. “There’s just a bunch of programs that are unique to Goshen, like SST and the opportunities to study abroad.”
Though former head coach Arron Patrick stepped down from the program and several players did not return to GC, the Leafs haven’t let adversity stop them from working hard and pursuing their goals.
“They all want to have a good experience and be successful on the field,” Newberg said, “so I think that common goal really unites them.”
Newberg has enjoyed getting to know the players and is looking forward to the rest of the season as they head into conference play.
Off the field, Newberg and the team have already participated in a service project that consisted of maintenance on the John Ingold Athletic Complex alongside the women’s soccer team.
On the field, they have experienced multiple injuries. Ollie Smith, a senior, and juniors Uriel Macias and Stuart Aeschliman were all injured in the first game of the season. The Leafs have played four of the last five games without the three big offensive threats. Newberg’s focus heading into conference play is to get the players healthy and to keep the momentum going.
“They are in that buy-in stage right now, especially after getting their first win Wednesday. I think we’ll really be buzzing when we get to conference play,” said Newberg.
His goal is to make the conference tournament and is confident in his players, as they too are eager to achieve the objective.
The Maple Leafs are in action this Saturday at home against Indiana University Northwest. They will begin conference play on Sept. 25, at home against local rival Bethel University.