GOSHEN, Ind. – Just 30 seconds into overtime, visiting Marian University netted the game-winner on a free kick, defeating host Goshen College 4-3 late Saturday night.
"I am so proud of how the boys played, they gave all that they have and more," head coach Tavi Mounsithiraj said. "Yes, there were mistakes here and there, but you can not take away the effort that these boys put in. We will continue to work hard in training, play hard in matches, work hard on our studies and eventually it will pay off."
The visitors got off to a hot start, scoring less than two minutes into the contest and building a 2-0 advantage with a pair of Renaud Sicard tallies in the first 15 minutes.
Goshen responded quickly, though, getting an 18th minute strike from freshman Chris Vendrely who finished a rebound off a Daniel Martin shot from 10 yards out. In the 26th minute, they found the equalizer when Joel Pepala gathered his own deflected shot and finished from close range.
Marian would grab another lead, however when Alex Long trapped a throw in towards the middle of the box and scored for the Knights.
Another equalizer finally came for the Maple Leafs in the 72nd minute on a spectacular effort from Khavoir Graham. The junior held off three defenders and drilled it from 20 yards out to the bottom left corner.
"Down 3-2 the boys did not panic and we were the better team in the second half," Mounsithiraj explained. "We kept putting pressure on them, got the equalizer goal, and were going for the win. We could just feel the momentum on our side, but after chances and chances, we just could not find he go-ahead goal and the MU keeper was just fantastic denying us any opportunities."
Goshen had a number of great chances to end it late, but Marian's Alex Ghattas was equal to each test and finished with 10 saves. The game-winner was less than a minute into overtime when Trevor Schmidy hit a free kick from 25 yards that slipped into the back of the net.
"I was pleased to see Chris Vendrely playing so well in his first start getting a goal and being a danger on the outside," Mounsithiraj added. "Caros Soto also had a good match for us and the whole team really did a solid job."
The Maple Leafs finished with 20 shots, including 14 on frame, while the visitors had 13 with 12 on target. Goshen (6-8-1, 1-5-1 Crossroads League) concludes the regular-season next week with a trip to Bethel College on Tuesday and the regular-season finale against Taylor University next Saturday.