On Nov. 6, the Goshen women’s soccer team suffered a season-ending loss to Spring Arbor University (MI), whose team is ranked third in the country.

The loss came in the Crossroads League Quarterfinals. This was GC’s second appearance in the conference tournament in three years — and the journey to get there was not easy.

The team had to beat Huntington University (IN) in the last regular game of the season to advance to the conference tournament, and they did.

Anne Nisley, a senior defender, said, “It really boosted our confidence and gave us a taste of how much hard work really pays off.”

Fellow senior Paige Renshaw added, “Those high pressure games, in my opinion, are the fun ones and beating Huntington was the perfect way to enter the tournament.”

The team had to figure out how to play together after adding ten freshmen and one transfer to the roster back in August, and they did. 

Izabel Love, a junior midfielder, said, “We were such a young and inexperienced team but once we started to mesh on the field, we got better and we had a lot of fun playing together.”

Renshaw said, “The girls on this team created a team culture that I hope lives on for years to come.”

“These girls are excited to be practicing and getting better each day,” she said. “Along with that, the team atmosphere improved drastically this year and that was a refreshing experience.”

The women finished their season 6-11 overall and saw much improvement compared to the shortened 2020 schedule. 

The Leafs saw their goals per game increase from 0.20 to 1.24 this season, while also becoming more defensively sound. The team went from allowing 3.20 goals per game last season to just 2.06 this year.

Love said, “The saying on our team is: happy, but never satisfied.” 

As the Maple Leafs reflect on the 2021 season and look forward to the off-season, this motto will be at the forefront of their minds.

“Big things the team needs to work on is our fitness and continuing to get to know the strengths of each person on the field,” Love said. “We need to keep working to be one of the top teams in our conference and, with the girls we have now and the new recruits coming in, I think we can.”

The team graduates six seniors whose leadership and dedication will be missed, one being defender Gabey Vogeler.

“Being a part of this team has been one of the best parts of my college education,” Vogeler said. “I am proud of the work and improvement that I have done over the years and I am very thankful for Goshen soccer and the coaches.”