Three shots on target. Three goals.For the Taylor University Men’s soccer team, this stat exemplifies the efficiency they showed in the second half of Tuesday evening’s 3-2 victory over Goshen College in Goshen. All five goals were scored during the second half, in a time span of 20 minutes.
The Maple Leafs believed they had scored with eight minutes left in the first half, but it was called back for a foul. A cross was put into the Trojan’s box, only to be caught and then fumbled by the Taylor goalkeeper. Confusion followed as players were knocked down and Sophomore Jan Dohnal poked the ball into the goal. The play ended with a free kick for Taylor inside their own box; fans, coaches, and players on both teams displayed confusion and outrage.
The first half ended scoreless, although Goshen looked firmly in control for the final five to ten minutes. “We did a really good job in the first half, and created a lot of opportunities,” said Goshen head coach Tavi Mounsithiraj, “unfortunately the goal never came.”
In the second half, Taylor scored first, with goals in the 52nd and 57th minutes. Freshman midfielder David Maldonado opened up the scoring by taping in a cross. Five minutes later, senior defender Joel Pincomb doubled Taylor’s tally by cutting into the left edge of the box and sliding a shot into the bottom right corner of the goal.
The Trojan’s advantage was short lived, as Dohnal scored seven minutes later. Receiving the ball at the top of the 18, Dohnal turned left, hooked the defender, and quickly turned back right to rifle a shot into the goal. Less than a minute later, Dohnal had once again put his name on the score sheet. Capitalizing on a poor clearance by the Taylor defense, he ran down the ball and tucked it nicely into the netting. Dohnal almost had his hat trick one minute later as he missed a header off a great cross.
It didn’t take long for Taylor to find their footing once more. Sophomore Alain Chaponniere picked up a yellow card for a reckless challenge in the 82nd minute, and on the ensuing free kick, sophomore Joel Ritz reclaimed the lead for the Trojans. There seemed to be some confusion among the Goshen defense, as nobody cleared the ball, and it bounced over the head of already-committed keeper, Jason Lauver.
The final ten minutes were tense moments for the Taylor defense, as Goshen had many great opportunities to score, but the visitors were able to hold on for the victory. Taylor moves to 10-6-1 overall (4-2-1 in conference), while Goshen falls to 5-13 (2-6 conference).
“We are a good enough team to compete in the tourney, said Mounsithiraj, “We are guaranteed to get in the tournament, even if it’s a seventh or eighth seed.” The conference tournament is coming soon, and both teams will be preparing for it, wanting to reach the peak of their performance as soon as possible.