The John Carroll University men’s lacrosse team opened their fall season with a heartbreaking loss at Kent State University this past weekend.
The short numbers that JCU traveled with came back to hurt the Blue Streaks later in the game.
JCU started strong with a four-goal explosion in the first half.
However, the start was too quick as JCU’s fresh legs ran out in the second quarter and Kent scored seven unanswered goals to take a 7-4 lead into the half.
Even though Kent managed to find the back of the net seven times in the second quarter it was not without the strong play of junior goalkeeper Aaron Syguda.
Syguda finished the game with 20 saves on 32 shots and was pivotal in keeping JCU close when the team ran out of gas.
“Aaron was the backbone of the team, making several outstanding saves in close to keep the team in it and acting as a vocal, calming force on defense to help out the young players,” second year head coach Bill Schmoldt said.
While JCU’s intensity did not match the opening stanza, the Blue Streaks looked like a new team in the second half.
Both teams would exchange goals in the third quarter as Kent maintained a slight edge on the scoreboard.
Despite suffering from a short bench, and losing starting defenseman, senior Josh Kaczmarek, JCU only trailed by four entering the final stanza.
The Blue Streaks continued to fight throughout the fourth quarter and managed to fight to a two goal deficit. However, JCU could not manage to find the back of the net to tie the score late in the game.
While JCU came up short on the scoreboard, their effort was not overlooked coach Schmoldt.
“The team showed a spirit, pushing to come back even though the players, especially the middies, were exhausted and the defense lost its veteran leadership in Josh,” Schmoldt said. “While the game did not end as I had hoped, the experience the young players gained will be invaluable, and there are several pieces in place for an excellent spring.”
JCU received scoring from six different players.
Senior Chris Hooton led the team with three goals while fellow senior Chris Ostrander and freshman Harry Steinwald had two goals each.
Also finding the back of the net was senior Dan Garbes, sophomore Ryan Barrett and freshman Pat Durkin.
The solid core of goal scorers JCU has will be important come next weekend when they travel to play the University of Pittsburgh as they continue their fall schedule.
Although JCU dropped their first game to Kent State in four years, the team is confident that Kent will be singing a different tune come springtime.
“Now we know where we stand,” Hooton said. “I can say that Kent will be playing a completely different team in a couple months and the outcome will be very different.”