Photo courtesy of Jason Goldfarb ’14
At 10:30 p.m. last Saturday night, men’s club soccer captain Jason Goldfarb ‘14 sat in the driver’s seat. Eyes on the road, he held out a fresh bottle of 5-Hour Energy to his co-pilot and star midfielder, Sam Diffendall ‘16.
“Open this for me!” he commanded.
They were off to a three-team round-robin tournament, to be played an hour away in Warminster, Pa.
The first game began around midnight, against Indiana University of Pennsylvania. On a small indoor field, sprints were limited and the six players per team, compared to the usual eleven, took some getting used to. The fluorescent lights were bright and disorienting compared to the darkness through the windows. But Lafayette triumphed.
“The adrenaline was coming in. We were playing hard, everyone was energetic and giving it their all. It was a good time,” Goldfarb said.
The second was against Shippensburg University, which the team had not yet played this year.
“We were extra excited to play them,” Goldfarb, the goalkeeper, said. For most of the game, Lafayette was behind 1 – 3, but in the last few minutes, came back to win 5 – 3.
“Everyone that played was really great. They all individually added a lot to the game,” Diffendall said.
After a break, it was time to play IUP again. “We came in kind of flat-footed,” Goldfarb said. “The lateness kind of kicked in.” They lost the game 5 – 4.
“Ben Drake [the team’s senior co-captain] was especially pushing us, on and off the field,” Diffendall said.
The next and last game would determine whether Lafayette would advance to regionals and whether they would stay at the field for another hour and play another game, for second place. Stakes were high.
At this time in the tournament exactly a year before, the team had done well and nearly assured themselves a spot at regionals.
“But Lehigh managed to get an extra game in, even though we’d already beaten them,” Goldfarb said. With that extra win, Lehigh was able to sneak into regionals ahead of Lafayette.
With the teams tied and thirty seconds left, Lafayette was awarded a throw-in. The ball was sent to the far corner of the field, and the next second, it was in Shippensburg’s net. Lafayette won.
“It was pretty intense. I was feeling a little bit loopy,” Nathan Mace ‘17 recalled.
“When it’s over, you kind of collapse,” agreed Diffendall.
The team arrived victoriously home to Lafayette around 4 a.m., trophy in hand. But not before one of the cars was pulled over by a police officer, curious to know what a carload of young men were doing driving around at that hour.