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British midfielder scores first goal in 50 weeks
GOSHEN, Ind. — TJ White’s penalty kick with 31:39 to play made the difference in a 1-0 Goshen College men’s soccer win over the University of Saint Francis of Illinois on Saturday at the John Ingold Athletic Complex.
After a sluggish first half that saw them concede eight shots while attempting three, Goshen (5-2) struck gold on its first chance of the second half. Uriel Macias, who returned to the lineup for the first time since Labor Day weekend, was hauled down on a shot attempt from the left side of the penalty area, allowing White to score for the first time in GC’s last 14 matches.
“We had a whole week to prepare for this, which looks like an advantage on paper,” said Goshen coach Arron Patrick. “But that often turns out to be tough. We used the week to get a few guys healthier and get back to basics in training, but we were lethargic all week and that translated into the first half. Saint Francis sat off us and allowed us easy build-up play but our offensive groupings were far too static.”
The Saints (2-3-1) mustered 17 shot attempts, hitting the target with six as Goshen goalkeeper Johan Escalante made half a dozen stops to earn the shutout. GC has conceded just once in the last 765 minutes on its home ground dating back to 2016.
Mohamad Rashid led all players with four shots for USF, although teammate Kelvin Ndlovu was arguably more dangerous with three attempts on frame. Two of those attempts came in the final quarter-hour with GC up a goal: after falling behind, the Saints tried eight shots, with five sailing high or wide and Maple Leaf defender Kyle Ramirez Ingold blocking one.
“We played outstanding (soccer) for 15 or 20 minutes in the second half,” Patrick said. “We rotated really well, found big pockets of space to play in and got great build-up leading to that goal. We have to find a way to play with that purpose for longer spells, but that doesn’t take away from our response after halftime.”
The Saints took three of the match’s five corner kicks and committed 14 of the 25 fouls. Each team was judged offside twice and had two players booked.
Goshen used five substitutes and made one change to the starting lineup from the group that edged Calumet 2-1 last Saturday.
Carlos Ferrer Coto and Brian Vasquez split time in net for USF, with Coto starting and finishing while Vazquez took the gloves for some 27 minutes after a first-half collision. Each player made one save.
“It’s always nice to get a clean sheet and a win,” Patrick said, “but we still have a lot of work to do before we get to where we want to be. Indiana Tech will be a big test on Tuesday, but I think we are more than ready and I look forward to seeing our guys correct some of today’s errors.”
The Maple Leafs will have two cracks at their sixth non-conference win, which would make 2017 the first time since 2003 that GC has defeated six NAIA or NCAA opponents outside of conference play in the regular season. Goshen hosts Indiana Tech at 7 p.m. Tuesday before concluding its non-league slate at Indiana University East next Saturday.
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.