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Soccer teams fall in conference openers

October 8th, 2009

It was a tough week for the John Carroll University soccer program as both the men’s and women’s teams opened up Ohio Athletic Conference play with losses to the Capital University Crusaders.

The women lost 1-0 Friday at Capital and the men lost Saturday afternoon’s contest 4-0 at Shula Stadium. The women’s team also fell to Allegheny College, 4-1, on Sept. 30.

The two losses dropped the JCU women’s team to 2-8-1 overall, and 0-1-0 in conference play. The men’s loss, just their second of the year at home, dropped their record to 6-4-2 overall, and 0-1-0 in the OAC.

JCU’s women’s soccer team faced their first challenge at home on Wednesday against Allegheny College. The Blue Streaks quickly fell behind when the Gators scored three goals in the first 20 minutes.

Sophomore Rachel Grdina scored off a pass from freshman Amanda Buxton to record the lone Blue Streak goal. It was only the fifth time Allegheny has allowed a goal through 10 games this season.

In Friday’s OAC opener, the Blue Streaks played better, but suffered the same result, losing a tough game on the road.

Junior goalkeeper Molly Gradowski made seven saves for the Blue Streaks, who faced 27 shots from the Crusaders. The Blue Streaks only managed 10 shots.

On the men’s side, Saturday’s game against Capital saw the most goals allowed by the Blue Streaks in one game this season. Two of Capital’s four goals were scored by Steven McCarthy, who has already totaled an eye-popping 16 tallies on the year.

Senior defender Steve Rock, who has been battling an elbow injury the past few weeks, said he’s not worried about the opening loss.

“We’ve been banged up. Everybody on this team knows what we’re capable of when we’re at full strength,” Rock said. “I think we’ve just got to be patient and keep playing hard.”

Rock was optimistic that the results will turn once the Blue Streaks finally have a healthy cast.

“I’m really proud of the way we’ve battled and once the OAC tournament rolls around, I think we’ll be healthy,” he said.

The men’s team will play on the road at Marietta College on Saturday and will host Heidelberg College at 4 p.m. Oct. 14. The women’s team will host Marietta College tomorrow at 4 p.m. and then go on the road to Tiffin, Ohio to battle Heidelberg next Tuesday night.