John Carroll University men’s lacrosse team overcame below freezing temperatures, snow, and a pesky University of Akron team Friday to earn their first win of the season.
Playing on a snow covered Don Shula stadium JCU played a back and forth game with Akron before sealing the 10-6 victory late in the fourth quarter.
JCU started fast, jumping to a four goal lead after the first quarter. Senior Paul Bender got the ball rolling and JCU would pick up goals from juniors Eric Gooch and MJ Laperch and freshman Dan Warner would score his first collegiate goal.
Although JCU would not relinquish the lead for the duration of the game, the cold, snowy conditions kept the Blue Streaks from putting the game out of reach. Both teams were hampered by the weather, particularly JCU as their passing and overall team speed was limited on the snow covered field.
JCU’s dominance was clear in the first quarter as Akron struggled to get the ball past midfield, let alone possess the ball and set up their offense. Akron’s inability to handle the ball hurt them for the entire game, particularly when senior Andy Ellis would pick up a dropped ball by the goaltender and put the ball in the empty net.
Akron kept the game close with a three goal second quarter and adding three more goals in the second half to keep JCU in their sights.
JCU managed to effectively shut down the Akron attack in the fourth quarter and add one last goal to put the game away 10-6.
JCU received scoring from eight different players, led by Bender and fellow senior Dan Garbes with two goals each. Junior Chris Hooton added a goal and three assists, Gooch, Laperch, Warner and junior Chris Schmoldt each scored for the Blue Streaks.
JCU will be back Saturday and Sunday. The first face off against defending league champion Slippery Rock is Saturday morning, Bowling Green under the lights on Saturday night and Ohio State on Sunday. All three games will be played at Don Shula Stadium.