The Goshen College women’s soccer team fell hard in the second half of the Crossroads League Tournament Quarterfinals on Saturday. The Maple leafs were defeated 5-1 against the 15th ranked Marian Knights.
The Maple Leafs started off strong by scoring the first goal of the match at the 33-minute mark. Kaitlin Begley, a senior, sent a through ball to Paige Renshaw, a junior, who dribbled past the keeper and away from the two chasing Marion defenders to shoot the ball into the back of the net.
The Goshen bench and fans erupted in celebration as the lead was the first for the Maple Leafs in a playoff game in 20 years.
The Maple Leaf defense remained strong as the Knights couldn’t find the back of the net with 11 shots on goal. Goshen went into the half with the 1-0 lead, stepping closer to the semifinals.
After halftime, the Knights flipped the switch and were able to go on a scoring onslaught. The first of the goals came less than 40 seconds from the start of the half to tie the game 1-1. The next goal for the Knights was only three minutes later to take the lead.
The Knights scored a total of five goals in the second half with 13 shots on goal compared to the Maple Leafs’ two. Goalkeeper Katie Baer, a junior, finished the match with 10 saves.
The match finished 5-1 in favor of the 15th Marian Knights, who advance to the next round of the Crossroads tournament where they will face Grace College.
The Maple Leafs finished their season with a record of 7-9-1 under Justin Crew’s second season as the Maple Leaf head coach. Their Crossroads record was 2-6-1, which gave them the seventh seed in the competitive Crossroads League tournament – their highest since 2007. The Crossroads League consists of four nationally ranked teams and one team receiving votes.
The Maple Leafs also experienced the most wins in a season since 2013; the longest winning streak, which consisted of five wins, since the late ’90s; and their second playoff appearance in 12 years.
The women’s team also reduced their goals against statistic by 50% from last year’s season and scored in all but three Crossroads League games.
Both juniors Baer and Beatriz Meneghin were honorable mentions for the Crossroad League all-tournament team. The Maple Leafs graduate five seniors: Kaitlyn Begley, Amanda Heckaman, Megan Bower, Taliah Borom and Makena Zimmerman.
With the women’s defeat on Saturday, both soccer seasons have come to an end for the Maple Leafs. The men’s team were unable to make the Conference Tournament during their first year with new head coach Victor Newburg.
The men finished their season 6-11 in the regular season and 2-7 in the Crossroads League. The men graduate four seniors: Tomas Fonseca, Javier Prieto, Ollie Smith and Josh Garcia.