The women’s soccer team continued to gain momentum this past weekend, as they won their fourth straight game in a row on Saturday against Indiana Tech.It wasn’t until the 98th minute that junior Beatriz Meneghin was able to score for the Leafs, winning the game 2-1 in overtime at the John Ingold Athletic Complex. Goshen is now 5-2 on the season.
“It was an exciting game against a tough opponent. It’s always fun to win at home in front of a great crowd,” Justin Crew, head coach said.
The game began with a vibrant student section cheering on the Maple Leafs. But less than seven minutes into the game, the Warriors (4-3) took the lead with the first goal of the match from a free kick on the edge of the box. Bailey Elliott stepped up for the Warriors to take the free kick and sailed the ball into the top right corner.
With 10 minutes remaining in the first half, the Maple Leafs gained a corner. The ball dropped dangerously into the box where Areanna Holifield, a sophomore, stuck the ball into the back of the net to tie up the game 1-1. This was Holifield’s first goal of the season.
Tied at halftime, each team had taken seven shots going into the break. Both teams returned to the field for the second half looking for the win but neither the Leafs or Warriors scored in the second period.
Indiana Tech had a third of their corner kicks in the last five minutes of regulation, leading to three saves from junior Katie Baer. Baer finished with 10 saves, bringing her to seventh in program history with 315 saves.
Heading into overtime, both teams were unable to get great looks at the goal. It wasn’t until Meneghin won a corner with three minutes left that she was able to get off a shot. The ball was cleared by a Warriors defender and found Meneghin once again, this time at the edge of the box. Meneghin struck the ball in what appears to be a cross. But with the Warriors defense still dealing with the chaos from the corner, the ball took an unexpected bounce in the 6-yard box that the keeper was unable to react to.
With 2:17 left in OT, the ball rolled into the back of the net, leading Goshen to their third overtime win this season.
“It was an amazing feeling, I couldn’t have been happier. Winning the game has given the team even more motivation to start conference games,” said Meneghin.
Not only were the Maple Leafs hoping to win that night, but they were also hoping to raise awareness for a bigger cause. This was their second annual “Go4theGoal” match, where players and coaches wear gold and fundraise for Pediatric Cancer. The team wore gold laces and played in gold jerseys for the event. The night included a halftime crossbar challenge competition that spectators could donate $2 to participate in.
“Cancer has in someway affected almost everyone, directly or indirectly. Go4theGoal is our way of helping to hopefully reduce the number of people it affects,” Coach Crew added.
The players echoed Crew’s desire to bring attention to the cause.
“The team was really happy to help raise money for kids,” said Meneghin. “It was also nice to see the support from GC students and parents at the game. We hope to host the event again next year.”
As the Leafs come off their overtime win, they are now heading into conference play of the competitive Crossroads League.
Their next home game is at the John Ingold Athletic Complex on Saturday Sept. 28 at 7:30 p.m. against Grace College.