By Chris Chaney
The Goshen Warriors got off to a less-than ideal start to the 2012 season as they came up against a tough schedule that forced them into an 0-5-1 hole. To add more insult to injury, the Warriors actually struggled with injuries at key positions that prevented the team from getting on the winning track earlier in the year.
“The first half of the first half of the season was not what we hoped for, but we had a pretty tough schedule,” head coach Brett Buechner said. “We’ve got all of our tough games out of the way and we had some key injuries mixed in there. We really don’t have a lot of depth on our team yet, so those injuries affect things quite a bit.”
The Warriors season opened up with a 1-1 tie with Little Miami on Aug. 22 and the very next day started their Southern Buckeye Conference season with five straight games against their American Division opponents, losing each one.
Already on the bottom looking up the league table less than half way through the season, Goshen has done their best to claw back into contention with three victories in a row over National Division teams, Clermont Northeastern, Felicity and Georgetown.
In their latest game on Sept. 20, the Warriors drew with Georgetown 0-0.
“We got together and got all of key players back and the last few games have been great,” Buechner said.
Among those who were put out of commission due to injury were goalkeeper and captain Brandon Bucksath, Travis Scheadler, a center back, Ryan Williamson, an attacking midfielder and Josh Steele, a junior midfielder and forward.
With all those players out and all of them being upperclassmen, younger players with limited experience were forced into action, which resulted in less-than-favorable results.
However, with all of the players back and a full bill of health, Buechner expects the Warriors to have better luck in their second match ups with the teams of the SBC American.
“If we stay healthy, I think we’ll do very well,” the coach said. “Guys are playing excellent. Even when our key guys are injured, the guys out there are playing good ball. It’s just a few key positions were lacking at that point, but overall they’re playing great. I’ve got high expectations for the rest of the season.”
The Warriors will kick off the end of their season conference schedule on Sept. 27 with an away game at Norwood before playing at Fayetteville out of conference on Oct. 1.
Beginning Oct. 2, the Warriors finish their season with games versus New Richmond (Oct. 2), at Amelia (Oct. 4), versus Bethel-Tate (Oct. 9) and finally versus Western Brown.
Buechner is expecting to do much better than the first time around, but doesn’t want to pin point a specific final record.
“As far as exact number (of wins), I’m not going to go there,” he said. “Anything can happen.”