GOSHEN, Ind. - Despite leading the game twice, the Goshen College women's soccer team couldn't hold off the Trojans of Taylor University, falling 3-2 in a double-overtime Mid-Central College Conference thriller Saturday.
The goals came early and often for both teams and for a while it looked as though the Lady Leafs would defeat Taylor for the first time since 2007. In only the 7th minute, junior midfielder Brianne Mault (Goshen, Ind.) found sophomore Marissa Weldy (Goshen, Ind.), who calmly placed the first goal in the back of the net from 15 yards out. Taylor responded just five minutes later when Molly Drooger found the ball on her foot in the box and tied the score at one.
Goshen kept up the pressure, though, and some precise Maple Leaf passing led to a three-on-one attack in which sophomore striker Emily Fretz (Centennial, Colo.) put home her team-leading fifth goal of the season. The goal was Fretz' fourth in the last five contests.
The Leafs retained the lead until the 32nd minute, when the Trojans' Anna Mercaldo fired a point-blank shot past Leafs goalkeeper Lynn Weaver (Goshen, Ind.) to knot the game at two. The team defenses hunkered down in the second half, however, and neither team could get back on the board through the entire second half and an overtime period. Halfway through the second overtime period, Melanie Hall gave Taylor the victory when her shot from 25 yards out snuck just underneath the crossbar and just over Weaver.
It was a good day overall for Weaver, who, despite the three goals, made an incredible 17 saves. Her counterpart Kristiana Griffith made just three saves on five Maple Leafs' shots on frame. Goshen was outshot 32-7 on the afternoon and took no corner kicks the entire contest, while the Trojans had six.
Coach Fabio dos Santos thought this was the best game his team has played all season, even though they did not win in the end. "I thought we played well; the first half was all about our game," he said. Dos Santos also noted the adjustments Goshen made in the second half to keep the game tied. "The whole game was physical, but I thought in the second half we played much more physical. The team's getting better every game but the small details cost us the game."
The Maple Leafs have dropped their last four games to fall to 4-7 on the season and are now 0-2 in MCC play, while the Trojans are now 2-0 in conference and 7-2-1 overall. Goshen will now head to Bethel College on Wednesday as they try to get back on track as well as break into the MCC win column.