The John Carroll women’s soccer team has one goal in mind: improve upon their semifinal exit in the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament from a year ago.
The Blue Streaks totaled a 3-8-1 record a year ago in non-conference play before going 6-2-1 to finish the season.
The women are well on their way to improving their first half record after splitting games this week with Case Western Reserve University and Medaille College.
Their current record stands at 3-4, and they are coming off a convincing 4-0 winning effort against the Medaille Mavericks.
The Blue Streaks defense has been so important all year long. In the game against the cross-town rival Spartans, John Carroll’s defense did not surrender a goal until the 75th minute. A goal just moments before the end of the game brought the final to 2-0, but the Blue Streaks defense held their heads high and carried that momentum into Saturday’s contest.
“This year’s defense has gotten stronger every game,” said sophomore Amanda Buxton. “The communication and marking have increased our overall play and will keep getting better over time.”
All of that hard work was evident early and often in the Blue Streaks bludgeoning of Medaille.
In the third minute of the game, junior Rachel Grdina put JCU ahead with her third goal of the season.
Freshman Jackie Murrer knocked home her first collegiate goal late in the first half to give JCU the commanding edge at the break.
Grdina added her second goal of the night and team-leading fourth of the season just over 10 minutes into the second half, and freshman Nicki Bohrer sealed the win with a goal in the 69th minute.
With the win, the Blue Streaks improved to a perfect 3-0 in home games.
The John Carroll men’s soccer team dropped two of three contests this week after starting the year 3-1.
John Carroll holds a 4-3 overall record and they anticipate next Saturday’s return home for only the second home game in the friendly confines of Don Shula Stadium this season.
The Blue Streaks lost a 2-0 contest at Hiram College on Sept. 14 and lost a 2-1 matchup against Hope College on Sept. 17 before halting the losing streak at two games with a 2-1 victory over Albion College on Sept. 18.
Only one of the seven games the Blue Streaks have played so far has had a final score decided by more than two goals.
In each of those six games, John Carroll’s opponents have not scored more than two goals per contest.
“We have played some great defensive teams this year,” said sophomore midfielder Wycliffe Odhiambo. “They have waited for us to attack while trying to score on quick counter-attacks. They did a nice job of that on Tuesday [Hiram] and Friday [Hope], but we adjusted well on Saturday [Albion].”
Odhiambo is coming off of an All-Tournament selection in last week’s Clarion Hotel Soccer Classic.
“I am a lot more confident in myself this season. I’m taking my shots and I’m finishing better,” he said. “But I need to be more authoritative. I need to run harder and faster at the defense.”
Junior goalie Carl Contrascier has made his presence known this season, too. He has posted a 3-1 record in his four starts this season while also saving 11 shots. Senior forward Jeff Kosek leads the team with three goals, while Odhiambo and senior midfielder Joe Ciacchi have contributed two goals each.
The team will return home for the first time in nearly a month when they host Misericordia University on Saturday at 10 a.m.