The Goshen College fall sports season was filled with ups and downs as the uncertainty of COVID-19 loomed over the teams.
Thirteen games across the Goshen College athletic department were cancelled during the fall season and two teams ended with a winless season.
The Goshen College men’s soccer team was the first team hit with the coronavirus back in early August, only impacting their practice schedule as the team was still ready and able to compete in game one of their season.
However, the team was hit with an outbreak in the middle of their season.
This forced the team to stop play in mid-October for two weeks. The time in between games spanned over 16 days.
Due to outbreaks and travel restrictions throughout the Crossroads League, the team’s season was shortened immensely. The men’s soccer team was able to play seven games, finishing the season 0-4-3.
The women’s soccer team did not have a positive case prior to their season, but they did have low numbers because of COVID-19.
Three players were stuck in Brazil due to the tight travel restrictions that were implemented in their home country.
Two players, who were planning on competing for the Maple Leafs this season, opted out from fears that surrounded the coronavirus.
The women’s soccer team only competed in five games this season after shutting down the program in mid-October, ultimately ending their season. The team finished 1-4.
Women’s volleyball was depleted by a number of injuries prior to their season. At times, the team was down to just seven active players on their roster.
The team was also exposed to COVID-19 during their preseason workouts, shutting them down for two weeks.
Two months later, the volleyball team shut down again due to COVID-19 prior to their scheduled match on Oct. 17.
Despite the COVID-19 outbreaks and the rescheduling, the volleyball team got their full season in. The Maple Leafs finished the year with a record of 0-14.
The cross country team, unlike the rest of fall sports, was able to stay healthy for this season.
The men’s team only competed four times before the Crossroads League championship. The women’s team raced only five times before the conference championship.
The men’s and women’s teams were able to finish sixth out of the 10 teams that raced. The highlight of the league championships was the ability to produce a Crossroads League champion. Nelson Kemboi became the sixth Maple Leaf to win the league outright.
Despite the overall disappointing finish to the fall sports season, it is still a victory to interim athletic director Erica Albertin.
“I don’t want us to miss the small wins of this year, even in the midst of a pandemic and scoreboard losses,” she said. “We have seen tremendous courage this year from the student-athletes.”
Four out of five teams finished their fall sports seasons during a global pandemic.
“There is not a playbook on how to navigate athletic and academic pressures, especially during COVID-19,” Albertin said. “Our student athletes have been incredible as they face, for some, the biggest challenge so far in life.”