The Goshen College soccer program is feeling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic more than most athletic teams this fall.
While the Goshen College women’s soccer team anticipated a Sept. 19 start to their season, low numbers and cancellations due to COVID-19 precautions delayed the start of the season until Sept. 23.
On the eve of the season opener at Bethel University on Sept. 19, the women’s soccer team received news they would no longer be playing their originally scheduled game after the Bethel Pilots were moved to quarantine.
Just two days after their first match was postponed, the team’s second game against Grace College was cancelled for the same reason as the first: COVID-19.
According to Justin Crew, the women’s head soccer coach, the guidelines are fairly simple.
“Grace postponed due to our league’s COVID policy,” he said. “They both had members of their teams in quarantine. The league policy is if you have 3 or more team members in quarantine you cannot play games for 14 days.”
More recently, the women’s soccer team has witnessed the effects of COVID-19 within their team.
“Three of our team members had to go get COVID-19 tests after they thought they had been exposed,” a source on the women’s soccer team said. “Because they were still awaiting their tests, we had to postpone our game against Grace College on Saturday.”
After the team received the three negative tests later that weekend, the team announced they would resume practice on Monday, just two days before their season opener.
“I’m excited to play on Wednesday after an elongated preseason due to the multiple cancelations,” the player said. “Our team is feeling healthy and are really looking forward to getting our season underway.”
As the GC women’s soccer team suited up for the first time this season on Wednesday, they started with just 12 players on the active roster.
“One team member is out with the coronavirus and three players are out with injuries,” the source said.
And the women’s soccer team is not alone.
Four players on the Goshen College men’s soccer team were exposed to the coronavirus late last week.
“Unfortunately, four of our players have been exposed to COVID-19 which is why we can’t play for the next two weeks,” said Sven Badstieber, a senior defender.
The shutdown came just 48 hours prior to their second match-up of the season at Grace College on Sept. 19.
“It is obviously very frustrating that we can’t compete,” Badstieber said. “Especially after a great fight against Bethel.”
The Goshen College men’s soccer team will not practice as a team for the next 14 days.
“We try to stay positive and keep working hard as we prepare to play against Huntington on Oct. 3,” Badstieber said.
Currently, Oct. 3 is the target date for the men’s soccer team to resume action. For the women, the first game of the season against Indiana Wesleyan University ended in loss for the Maple Leafs, falling 3-0 to the Wildcats.