Leafs Kick Off Five Game Road Streak With 3-0 Win
NORTH MANCHESTER and FRANKLIN, Ind. - The Goshen College women's soccer team kicked off a five-game road streak with a 3-0 win at Franklin College on Thursday afternoon.
Despite the score line - and the recent positive offensive play by the Leafs - things did not get off to a great start for head coach Thavisith Mounsithiraj and his squad, "We came out extremely flat, frustrating flat. It was a very painful first fifteen
minutes of soccer."
Fortunately for Goshen, things turned around shortly after that. After receiving a nice through ball from Liz Nafziger, freshman Tahnee Delp struck a shot from just outside the 18-yard box to give the Leafs a 1-0 advantage.
"Tahnee's goal quickly rejuvenated and inspired a different ball game," Mounsithiraj explained. "We quickly achieved and maintained good possession for the remainder of the half."
Goshen would take further advantage of that possession as they netted two goals in the final three minutes of the half to take a huge 3-0 lead that would easily hold up.
In the 42nd minutes, Liz Gunden scored the Leafs second goal from just outside the 18 after receiving an assist from substitute Heather Zimmerman. Just two minutes later, Ali Gotwals struck a direct free kick from 25 yards off the crossbar. Liz Nafziger quickly moved in and headed it home for the third Goshen goal.
"It was nice to get a couple fantastic goals," added Mounsithiraj. "Gunden finished with class and quality and Nafziger finished with a clinical header."
Senior goalkeeper added yet another shutout and is now just one short of the program career record of 16.
With a win to open the road streak, the Leafs had just one day off before heading to Manchester College on Saturday. What was already a long week for Goshen ended up being extended even longer as the Leafs fell 2-1 in double overtime.
"It was a very tough loss because we played well at both end of the pitch," said the seventh-year head coach. "Well enough to win but we ran out of time."
Again, Goshen was able to successfully play the possession game and it paid off when Ali Gotwals intercepted a pass and quickly found Kat Luginbuhl on the left side. The pass created a one-on-one for Luginbuhl and she finished to give the Leafs a 1-0 lead.
"The possession game was in our favor for most of the first half and our lone score came directly as a result of our forward's pressure on Manchester's defenders," explained Mounsithiraj. "The front three (Luginbuhl, Hernandez, Delp) did a great job pressuring hard and often and our defenders were very effective in finding our midfielders with room to play forward."
The long week on the road, coupled with humid conditions got the best of the Leafs in the second half. Keeper Emmy Gibson kept the team in the game, stopping three point-blank shots in the first overtime. "Her play certainly inspired and kept her team in play," added Mounsithiraj.
Despite the possession play and the efforts of Gibson in goal, Goshen could not hold on and Manchester struck once in the second half and again in the second overtime period to take the 2-1 win.
"The loss was certainly painful because we played very well," concluded Mounsithiraj. "We are young and each and every match, we continue to play better as a team."
Goshen has two more non-conference matches on the road this week as they travel to Calumet College on Thursday and Cornerstone University on Saturday.