The goal is the intention of an activity or a plan. In a figurative sense, a goal is the mission of a person or group. A tangible goal could be the net at one end of a soccer field. Your goal is to kick the ball into the net, and then you will have scored a goal.

Goal used to mean "the end point of a race." When you score a goal during a sporting event, the play does momentarily stop. If your goal is to win the presidency and you are in fact elected, you have achieved that goal. A goal is the reason for your efforts. People set goals in all aspects of their lives, not just in scoring points. "Her goal is to eat 40 cupcakes in one day." Go figure.

Definitions of goal
  1. noun
    the state of affairs that a plan is intended to achieve and that (when achieved) terminates behavior intended to achieve it
    synonyms: end
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    aim, object, objective, target
    the goal intended to be attained (and which is believed to be attainable)
    bourn, bourne
    an archaic term for a goal or destination
    the ultimate goal
    destination, terminus
    the ultimate goal for which something is done
    a nonexistent goal
    aim, design, intent, intention, mission, purpose
    an anticipated outcome that is intended or that guides your planned actions
    (usually plural) the goal with respect to a marriage proposal
    the object of any prolonged endeavor
    idea, mind
    your intention; what you intend to do
    a contrary aim
    final cause
    (philosophy) the end or purpose of a thing or process
    the purpose of achieving or obtaining
    purpose; the phrase `with a view to' means `with the intention of' or `for the purpose of'
    a fixed and persistent intent or purpose
    an immediate objective
    the object of an activity
    a special objective
    type of:
    cognitive content, content, mental object
    the sum or range of what has been perceived, discovered, or learned
  2. noun
    game equipment consisting of the place toward which players of a game try to advance a ball or puck in order to score points
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    basket, basketball hoop, hoop
    horizontal circular metal hoop supporting a net through which players try to throw the basketball
    a goal lined with netting (as in soccer or hockey)
    the net that is the goal in ice hockey
    type of:
    game equipment
    equipment or apparatus used in playing a game
  3. noun
    the place designated as the end (as of a race or journey)
    synonyms: destination, finish
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    finish line, finishing line
    a line indicating the location of the finish of a race
    the finishing line for a foot race
    the finishing line on a racetrack
    type of:
    end, terminal
    either extremity of something that has length
  4. noun
    a successful attempt at scoring
    “the winning goal came with less than a minute left to play”
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    own goal
    (soccer) a goal that results when a player inadvertently knocks the ball into the goal he is defending
    type of:
    the act of scoring in a game or sport
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