With a loss to Heidelberg last week the John Carroll University men’s soccer team will not achieve their goal of a perfect season.
Despite missing their goal of an undefeated season, the team still has the opportunity to be conference champions.
The loss to Heidelberg knocked JCU out of first place in the tight race atop the Ohio Athletic Conference standings
But last Friday, the Streaks managed a win against Wilmington College to put them in sole position of third place in the league as they look to finish up the regular season and make a run at a championship.
Heidelberg came to Don Shula Stadium on October 16 with a 3-2 conference record, two games behind the Streaks.
Billy Banks, Brian Juart and Brad Howell all chipped in with goals for the Student Princes.
Mike Pinter was the only Blue Streak to score off an Alex Bernot assist.
On Friday, JCU went to Wilmington to take on the sixth place Quakers, a game the Streaks won 2-1. Bernot scored both goals in the victory.
In the final week of OAC play, Ohio Northern and Capital, who share first place at 5-1 each, will play each other.
The third place Streaks play Mount Union on Wednesday and Marietta on Saturday.
“We win out, we’re guaranteed second place no matter what,” said junior Lou Kastelic. “In a perfect world, we win out and Capital and Ohio Northern tie and we finish in first place.”
Rankings become crucial for the playoff run, giving teams with better records home field advantage over the weaker teams.
The top six teams advance to the post season, with first and second place teams receiving a first round bye.
Bernot, the senior captain of the team, thinks his squad is prepared.
“It’s pretty much all about attitude,” he said. “We have more skill than other teams in the conference, but that’s been our problem all season, going into games and thinking we already won them, like what happened with Heidelberg.”
Wednesday’s and Saturday’s contests will be the biggest test for the team this far, even though Mount Union and Marietta are ninth and eighth place in the league, respectively.
“It’s a big test to see if we can stick it out and win these next two games, and hopefully be conference champions.”
Kastelic said, “You expect to win and you play to the best of your abilities, you win. And we expect to win those games.”