2017 team matches 1998 unit with 6-0 home mark before conference play
By Tony Miller
Sports Information Director
GOSHEN, Ind. — Three Maple Leafs scored, Nate Nussbaum assisted twice and the Goshen College defense posted its fifth clean sheet of 2017 in a 3-0 men’s soccer win over Indiana Tech on Tuesday at the John Ingold Athletic Complex.
Stuart Aeschliman opened the scoring in the 11th minute with his first goal in three games and more than two weeks, taking a pass from Nussbaum in the midfield and firing past the goalkeeper from some 25 yards out.
Goshen (6-2) had more chances in the first half, with netminder Edwin Rosario making a pair of diving stops—including one off his own rebound—to keep the score 1-0. The Maple Leafs out-shot Indiana Tech 7-5 in the first 45 minutes and put all but one of those attempts on target.
Indiana Tech (4-3) took nearly nine minutes to get its first attempt of the second half, allowing GC to double its lead with 41:22 remaining when a Nussbaum pass in from the wing found Uriel Macias on the right side of the box. West Noble High School’s all-time leading scorer finished the shot for his first college goal.
“The first goal came from the back of a good press and a moment of brilliance by Stu,” said Patrick. “Uriel’s goal was a great ball from Nate that he finished after a sublime first touch. The final goal was very good build-up play and hard work from Ollie to finish it off.
The assist was Nussbaum’s third of the year, breaking a four-way tie and moving him to second on the team. That tie stood among three players for less than 16 minutes before Aeschliman claimed his second helper when his cross trickled to a sliding Ollie Smith at the left side post after 64:15.
“This was a good Indiana Tech team, solid tactically with no real areas of weakness,” Patrick said. “They were third in their league in the coaches poll this week and they will finish toward the top of the WHAC. We have a quality team that put a very good match together and it still took a couple of moments of real quality to break them down.”
Smith’s goal was his fifth of the season, matching his team high from last fall in eight games and staying one score behind Aeschliman for the current team lead. The team has accumulated 19 goals and 15 assists so far, each bettering three of the past four full-season marks.
With the win, GC improves to 6-0 at home in non-conference play, matching the team’s best mark since the Crossroads League (then Mid-Central College Conference) went to a seven-match schedule in 1994. The 1998 team went also went 6-0 at home, while the 2005 side was undefeated in six matches but played to a draw in its home opener. Those teams both scored 28 goals at home while conceding six and three respectively; the current group has scored 16 times and conceded once.
Four other teams (1996, 1997, 2002 and 2003) started 5-0 or 6-0 in non-conference before losing their last home match.
As their name suggests, however, the Warriors did not go down quietly, taking four shots and a corner between Goshen’s last two goals and four more tries in the final 25 minutes. Escalante made one save and center back Tevin Gilkes posted a block while several more tries sailed near the net but harmlessly past.
Indiana Tech finished the match with 14 of the 25 shots but put just four on frame, compared to Goshen’s 7-for-11 mark. The Warriors out-cornered Goshen 5-4 and benefitted from 18 free kicks to Goshen’s 14.
The Maple Leaf defense ran its shutout streak to 250 minutes and 46 seconds since conceding in the 20th minute against Calumet on Sept. 9: in its last 875 minutes at home (dating back to October 1, 2016), the team has allowed one goal.
“I’m most proud that we have worked on our style of play and stuck to it the entire time (in non-conference play),” Patrick said. “When you play the way we do, you have to be very brave and very fit, and we’ve shown we are both of them. It’s really fun to be able to play every single guy and start nearly all of them.
Goshen played a season-high- 19 men on Tuesday night, including a pair of goalkeepers. Escalante played the first 77 minutes in net for Goshen and made four saves; Tyler Born took over with 13 minutes remaining and intercepted several crosses but was not credited with a save. Rosario finished with five stops for Indiana Tech.
“Peaking too early would be a concern if we hadn’t used a ton of players, but that rotation ensures that we are all fit and healthy,” continued the fourth-year head coach. “We don’t worry about winning at all in non-conference, we just use those games to build conference. Any goals we have accomplished so far just build confidence heading into league play, and this team’s confidence is very high due to all their hard work paying off.”
With its pre-conference home slate finished in a satisfactory sweep, Goshen travels to Indiana University East to close out its non-league road schedule on Saturday. The jump from Indiana Tech to IU East is about as large as Goshen can get in terms of opponent familiarity: the Maple Leafs first played Tuesday’s opponent in 1959 during the seventh year of the Eisenhower administration, while Saturday’s foe has played seven intercollegiate soccer matches in school history.
Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. at Centerville High School in Centerville, Indiana.
Goshen College is an affordable, nationally-ranked Christian liberal arts college in Northern Indiana known for leadership in intercultural and international education, sustainability and social justice.
The Maple Leafs compete in 13 varsity sports in the NAIA’s highly competitive Crossroads League, continuing a tradition of intercollegiate athletics that dates to 1956 and included women’s competition nearly a decade before Title IX. For more information on GC athletics, visit www.GoLeafs.net and follow the Maple Leafs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @GCMapleLeafs.