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Senior captain goalie John Kosh has recorded nine shutouts while allowing only seven goals for the Guilford boys’ soccer squad this fall. (Photo courtesy of Joe Mirrione )
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Ever since he put on the gloves and stepped into the net as a six year-old, John Kosh envisioned himself becoming the goalkeeper for the Guilford boys’ soccer squad. That dream started to take shape for John in 2017, when he made the Indians’ varsity team as a sophomore. Now, three seasons later, John is having a great campaign in his first year as Guilford’s starting goalie, while also serving as one of the Indians’ senior captains.
John’s performance in goal is one of the biggest reasons why Guilford has a record of 9-1-5 heading into the home stretch of the regular season. John has nine shutouts to his credit and has only allowed seven goals all year.
Head Coach Curtis Gullette says that John is a composed goalie who is doing an excellent job of leading Guilford alongside fellow senior captain Aidan Buchanan this fall.
“This group has been together all four years. John is one of their leaders,” says Gullette. “He’s a quiet person who has very strong goalkeeping skills. He’s the type of kid who keeps his cool. He rarely panics.”
John posted a pair of shutouts when Guilford earned 1-0 wins versus Cheshire and Foran last week. He made four saves against Cheshire and then came up with a huge save late in the Foran game. John stopped one of the Lions’ forwards on a breakaway to preserve a victory that solidified the SCC Hammonasset Division title for the Indians.
“All of us are very excited about this season so far. We’re starting to gear up for the SCC playoffs and states,” John says. “Both Wethersfield and Hand are in our class [Class L]. I haven’t seen Wethersfield, but I’ve got to believe that Hand still looks like the team to beat.”
Guilford played defending state champion Hand twice during the regular season, and both contests ended in a tie. The two teams battled to a 2-2 draw in their season opener. Later in the campaign, the Indians and Tigers finished in a scoreless draw, giving John another shutout on the season.
While he has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders as a goalie, John embraces the pressure of playing the position. John likes the sense of “independence” that he comes with protecting the net.
“I’ve learned over the years that I am the last line of defense. I like that feeling,” says John. “It’s really all about keeping your position, staying steady, and anticipating. But I’ve never been back there solely for myself. My efforts are to help the team win.”
John appreciates the support that he gets from Guilford’s defenders. He’s also pleased that the Indians are picking up the tempo on offense after making some adjustments during the middle of the season.
“We’re putting more pressure up top, trying to keep the ball in the opponent’s end longer to create more scoring chances,” John says. “It’s definitely something I like to see.”
John also displays his athleticism on the links, where he is the No. 1 player for the Guilford golf squad. John started golfing at age 11 after his grandparents, John and Nancy Wilson, encouraged him to try to sport while on vacation in Florida with his parents, Cindy and Dean Kosh. Last spring, John helped the Indians win the SCC Division II title and then earned All-SCC honors when they finished in fourth place at the SCC Championship.
“The only comparison I can make between soccer and golf is that independence,” says John. “I feel it when I’m out on a golf course.”
John’s twin brother Noah also competes for the Indians’ golf squad, in addition to playing defense on the soccer team. Their sister Molly plays for the women’s soccer team at Skidmore College following a career at Guilford.
John is already preparing himself for a future in aeronautics and would like to become a pilot one day. He’s currently serving with a youth military group called the Naval Sea Cadets.
However, before he graduates from high school, John is looking to guide the Indians to a triumphant finish on the pitch this year.
“The entire team’s expectation level is high,” John says. “We’d like to finish out in a big way.”
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