Colleges throughout the country are struggling with the reality of sports during a pandemic. Goshen College, despite its small size and low COVID-19 numbers, is not immune to this struggle. 

The women’s soccer team was set to face off in their first official contest of the year against Crossroads League Rival, Bethel University, on Wednesday, Sept.16, but the game was canceled after several Bethel University women’s players contracted COVID-19. 

This marks the second cancellation within the past two weeks for the Maple Leafs, as their planned scrimmage against Trine University was also cancelled on Sept.12 under similar circumstances.

The GC women’s volleyball team was also back in action this past week. 

In their first contest against Bethel University on Sept. 9, the women’s volleyball team lost 25-10, 25-11 and 25-9 in the 3-0 sweep. While the Leafs were again swept in Saturday’s contest, they surpassed their previous point high for the season in two of the three sets, losing 25-13, 25-12, and 25-9. 

Coming off of a 3-0 loss against Bethel, the volleyball team was swept again by the #7 nationally ranked Indiana Wesleyan on Saturday.

The men and women’s cross country teams also launched their season this past Friday at the Indiana Wesleyan University Twilight Classic. The women’s team finished 12th of 18 overall, thanks to a spark of success by a series of first-years and sophomores.

First-year Annika Fisher led the pack for Goshen, finishing 37th overall with a time of 19:53. Coming in second place for the Leafs was Makayla Collier, senior, who also broke the 20-minute marker and the top 50 placings with a time of 19:58.First-year Summer Cooper finished third among the Maple Leaf squad and 60th overall with a time of 20:33.

The biggest precaution for these NAIA cross country races is not allowing the runners to line up at the line and stretch as a way to maintain social distancing.

“The number of spectators was very different, and it was weird being rushed out into the field before and after the race. We didn’t even get to stretch at the line,” Cooper said.

Despite the middle of the pack finish for the team as a whole, Cooper remains confident that the Leafs can compete and do well at the national level. 

The men’s cross country team fared well overall, placing sixth out of 18 teams in the Twilight Classic. In his first collegiate level race, Nelson Kemboi, first-year, finished the 4.97-mile race 22nd overall, with a time of 26:12.4 – a finish that was within 15 seconds of breaking the Goshen College record.

Overall, Goshen placed 4th out of 10 Crossroads League teams, and four Goshen runners finished within the top 35, each trimming time off of their fastest previous total. 

The men’s and women’s cross country team will be back in action Saturday, Oct. 3 in Louisville, Kentucky, for the Louisville Classic. 

Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams have been active since Sept. 5, with only one cancelation through six contests, and one game suspension due to inclimate weather. 

The men’s tennis team has thus far compiled a 2-4 record overall, with a 7-0 victory to start the season against the University of St. Francis, and a 6-1 win over Bethel University on Tuesday, Sept. 8. GC was able to finish the first contest of the day Saturday, as they lost to Grace College 6-1.

Their second match against Mount Vernon Nazarene was halted due to rain, with the Maple Leafs and Cougars tied 3-3. 

The women’s tennis team has struggled throughout the season so far, their first win coming this past Friday in a 4-3 win over Judson University. 

Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams are scheduled to kickoff on Saturday against Grace College. The men’s team will be on the road and the women’s team will play host to the Lancers. Both games begin at 7 p.m. 

As for the volleyball team, they host Taylor University next Saturday, Sept. 19, at 3 p.m.