After starting the 2011 campaign with an overall record of 1-4, the John Carroll University men’s soccer team was hungry to get back on the winning track as they traveled to Pontiac, Mich. to play Rochester College.
Searching for their second win of the season against the host Warriors, the extra determination from the Blue Streaks’ players was evident. Despite allowing an early goal in only the seventh minute of action, the Blue Streaks persevered and battled back.
Junior Wycliffe Odhiambo notched his first goal of the game in the 21st minute to tie the game at one goal apiece. Minutes later, Odhiambo struck again as he scored his second goal of the first half, allowing the Blue Streaks to go into halftime with a 2-1 lead over the Warriors.
In the second half of play, sophomore Nathan Sharbaugh tacked on another goal for the Blue Streaks, giving the visiting team a 3-1 lead, a lead which they would hold on to until the end of regulation.
“We know our record does not reflect our team’s talent and capabilities and we all were just tired of losing. It’s not a good feeling,” said Sharabugh. “We came into this game with a chip on our shoulder. We weren’t going to accept losing another game.”
With the win, the Blue Streaks improve their overall record on the season to 2-4. This was a much needed win for JCU, as their schedule does not get any easier in the coming weeks with five consecutive road games.
“Going into any game you have to believe that you can win or its not worth playing the game,” said senior goalkeeper Carl Contrascier. “When we went down 1-0, the mindset stayed the same for us, which is play our game and this team can’t hang with us for 90 minutes.”
Clearly that mindset worked as the Blue Streaks responded to the early deficit they faced.
Perhaps the biggest goal of the game came from Sharbaugh, whose 81st minute goal all but shut the door on the Rochester College Warriors.
“This win felt amazing. We were all so happy,” said Sharbaugh. “Things haven’t been going our way for most of the season, and it’s just really nice getting another win. We are hoping this win really propels us forward.”
The Blue Streaks will play next on Saturday, Sept. 24 against the currently fourth ranked Ohio Wesleyan University Battling Bishops in Delaware, Ohio as the JCU men’s soccer team finishes up their lengthy mid-season road trip.