The Goshen College men’s soccer season is nearing its end. After last night’s game, they have a record of 1-14-2 with one game left on Saturday at 7 p.m.Despite how it looks from the outside, there is optimism both within the team and from the coach, Dan Sullivan, who was named head coach this spring.
When asked about the season and the future of the program, Sullivan said, “We have weeks where the attitude is good, but when the results don’t come it is an added layer of stress while trying to stay on top of things. When you put your time and effort into something, you want that reward.”
GC saw moments of competition against a high-level opponent in their game against Indiana Wesleyan University, who is No. 15 in the nation, when they held them to a 1-1 tie.
A standout player in that game was Ruam Barbosa, a fifth-year goalkeeper who had 11 saves — a performance that earned him Crossroads League men’s soccer defensive player of the week. Barbosa will graduate after this semester, and he shared his optimism about the potential of the coming years: There wasn’t “much time for our new coach for proper recruiting. … We have a lot of talent and a lot of good freshmen and good transfers … and as we adapt to his coaching, I am optimistic.”
In their game on Saturday, the Leafs played against Bethel University, the defending national champions and ranked tenth in the nation. The Maple Leafs fell 3-1, with their one goal scored by Eli Simones, a sophomore striker.
On Wednesday, GC lost 3-0 at home against Grace College, No. 4 in the nation. With the loss to Grace, Goshen is eliminated from the Crossroads League tournament.
“We do have a lot of promising things,” Simones said. “We have some younger up-and-coming-players who are getting some time who have been really impressive.”
“Even though we didn’t get the result that we were looking for,” Sullivan said, “we showed moments where we could be competitive with those teams, regardless of what their ranking was …
“We go back to that process and ask where we can add that consistency and be mentally focused and mentally active for 90-plus minutes.”