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Goshen Stars Soccer Club looks to extend fields, build community center

 Credit: Goshen Stars Soccer Club website, goshenstars.org
Credit: Goshen Stars Soccer Club website, goshenstars.org (WNDU)
Published: Jan. 25, 2017 at 3:14 PM EST
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The Goshen Stars Soccer Club seems to be growing almost as quickly as the kids who make up the teams, and they need more space to play.

The club is currently made up of 20 teams, but they have only five outdoor soccer fields and no indoor facilities of their own to continue play during these winter months. However, they’re hoping to change that.

10-year-old Eva Horning has been playing soccer since she was in the second grade. She loves playing defense, but she loves to score a goal now and then.

“It hit off the post and then I scored the goal, which was one of my favorites because my friend was really happy for me,” said Eva.

Eva is one of the 250 soccer players that make up the Goshen Stars teams. Those teams are all led by volunteer coaches, many of whom are parents of the soccer players.

Coach Heriberto Moreno said, “I feel very proud to see that Goshen Stars can make a difference in kids and especially in my own children.”

Goshen Stars President Millard Graber leads the club in memory of his daughter, Joyce.

“My daughter, oldest daughter, passed away when she was 18 - she developed a brain tumor,” said Graber, “So I wanted to be able to give back to the community in some way. Soccer was something she loved to do, and so that was another reason for us to continue on with Goshen Stars.”

And that’s why the first field of their Goshen Memorial Soccer Park was named after Joyce. All of the fields are named after loved ones in the soccer community that have passed. Another was recently named after a young soccer player named Jeremy, who passed away in 2013.

The soccer park on CR 36 is fairly new, but remains unfinished. This year, the Goshen Stars is launching the Capital Project, which consists of three parts.

The club currently has 20 acres of property leased and on it, there are five soccer fields. The first step in the project is to build more fields on the remaining space in the property. The second step is to buy the 20 acres they have leased and purchase 16 more acres in the land off to the west. The third step is what Goshen Stars president Millard Graber says is a dream they’re working to make a reality.

“The third part - a little more of a dream,” said Graber, “And probably this could take a little longer, but would be actually putting in a community center that would be for indoor soccer. For futsal.”

The Goshen Stars Soccer Club has been paying about $3,000 a month to have indoor practices at an athletic club in Goshen during the winter. Building a community center would allow the club more space to play and would save money in the long run.

Graber says the club could host tournaments in the community center. The center would also offer other activities besides soccer, such as tennis, basketball, baseball batting cages, and dance. Graber hopes they could connect with groups like the Boys and Girls Club, so students could go to the community center after school.

It’s a $4.5 million project in the works, but Graber believes that individuals and businesses in the community will be willing to invest in this project so that Goshen Stars can continue to benefit young athletes like Eva. She says she has learned valuable lessons while playing for the club.

“You should be a good sport about it and even if you lose or win, you played as a team,” said Eva.

Of the $4.5 million needed for the community center, the club is looking for 60 percent of it to come from donations.

Individuals or businesses interested in donating to the club can send an email to goshenstarssoccer@gmail.com or call the club’s president, Millard Graber at 574-320-6532.

For more information on the Goshen Stars, visit them online at

or visit their

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Goshen Stars Soccer Club

President Millard Graber

(574) 320-6532

goshenstarssoccer@gmail.com

1512 E. Lincoln Ave.

Goshen, IN 46528