Using a 2-0-2 stretch over their past four games, the John Carroll University men’s soccer team has moved themselves into fourth place in the conference standings.
After last night’s contest against Baldwin-Wallace College, only Saturday’s showdown with Muskingum College remains on the regular season schedule.
This past four-game stretch opened with back-to-back ties that could not be settled in double overtime.
JCU played to a 1-1 tie against Heidelberg College, and then tied Ohio Northern University 2-2.
The Blue Streaks got back in the win column when they knocked off Otterbein College, 2-1, at Shula Stadium.
The Cardinals went ahead 1-0 early in the game when senior Matt Beckett scored a goal.
Junior Andrew Fatigati tied the game at one when he scored off a pass from sophomore Corey Rider.
Late in the second half, Kyle Buxman found the back of the net in what proved to be the game-winner.
Buxman received a long pass from senior Ryan Ricart and beat Otterbein goalkeeper Alex Kamhaus to give JCU the win.
In the Blue Streaks next game against Wilmington College, Ricart scored the first goal to give JCU an early 1-0 lead.
Wilmington tied it in the 65th minute, and neither team scored again in regulation.
Just five minutes into the overtime frame, Fatigati beat the goalie on a penalty kick to give the Blue Streaks the win.
Goals have been tough to come by lately in games that featured the JCU women’s soccer team.
In their past four games, a total of six goals have been scored.
Much of that has to do with the stellar play of junior goalkeeper Molly Gradowski who had back-to-back shutouts against Otterbein and Wilmington.
Making the feat more impressive was the fact that Otterbein entered the game ranked the eighth best team in the country.
In the Wilmington games, goals from sophomore Rachel Grdina and senior Elizabeth Daigler provided all the cushion that Gradowski would need.
Adding a little bit more satisfaction to the win was the fact that it came on ‘Senior Night’ – marking the last time that eight players would sport the blue and gold while playing at Shula Stadium.
With a record of 4-2-1 in OAC play, the Blue Streaks currently sit in fifth place. They will wrap up the regular season on Saturday when they take on Muskingum College, a team that is winless so far in conference play.
Coach Cally Plummer’s squad went 2-2 over the past two weeks to run their record to 3-5 in OAC competition.
They opened up their run with a 3-0 victory over the Otterbein Cardinals.
JCU was then turned back, 3-0, against Heidelberg College. The ‘Berg is a perfect 8-0 in conference play.
The squad then responded by knocking off a winless Wilmington team.
Their four-game stretch ended with a setback to Mount Union College, the conference’s second best team.
Helping the team play better volleyball was the strong play of their outside hitters, sophomore Kerry Fox and senior MaryEileen Dalton.
They were set up by junior Meredith McDiarmid, who moved into third all-time on the career assist list.
JCU will conclude their regular season on Friday in Marietta.
In a tune-up for this weekend’s OAC Championships, both the men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the Wilmington Invitational.
The women’s team captured the team title, while the men’s team took 11th of the 26 teams competing.
Freshman Ashley Aberl continued her fantastic season by taking second place. On the men’s side, sophomore Jake Smith was the top Blue Streak across the finish. Smith, who has been the top finisher for JCU in all six races this season, was 29th across the finish line.
The OAC Championships will be held this weekend in Wilmington – so both teams will run the same course as last weekend.
Swimming and Diving
The swimming and diving teams got the winter season underway on Saturday when they both traveled to Wilmington and knocked off the Quakers. Sophomores Eric Davis and Alex Vereshchagin led the men, while eight different women swimmers captured individual titles to improve to 1-0 on the young season.