After starting the 2012 campaign with a mere 2-5 record, the John Carroll University men’s soccer team certainly had a sour taste in its mouth. Fortunately, the Blue Streaks were able to get back to their usual winning ways, as they defeated the visiting Rochester College Warriors by a score of 3-2 in overtime this past Saturday, Sept. 22.
Coming into the match, the Blue Streaks already had a 2-0 record when playing at home at Don Shula Stadium. To mend recent on-field issues, particularly a four-game losing streak, the Blue Streaks knew they would have to rely on their home field advantage if they were going to be able to defeat a talented Warriors squad.
Action began when senior Ion Coada was able to punch in the first score of the game with an assist from sophomore Brian Potocnik, giving the Blue Streaks a 1-0 lead in the 44th minute.
Going into the intermission with a 1-0 lead in hand, the Blue Streaks knew that they would have to continue to stay aggressive on offense to build their lead. The Warriors responded early in the second half, though, as they scored a goal of their own in the 51st minute, tying the game at one. Minutes later, the Warriors again proved how offensively potent they are, as they captured the lead from JCU, 2-1.
The Blue Streaks’ sense of urgency increased as they knew that time was running out. Luckily Mariusz Trzeciak stepped up for the Blue and Gold. The junior joined in on the scoring action, tying the game in the 71st minute with an assist courtesy of junior Jon Smola.
With the game tied at a 2-2 score late in the second half, both the Warriors and Blue Streaks battled for the ever-evasive game-winning goal. However, neither side was able to score and end the game in regulation, forcing an overtime period at Don Shula Stadium.
This marked the fourth consecutive game in which the Blue Streaks had played in overtime. Unfortunately, they were winless in their previous three attempts to win in overtime. This time would be different for the Blue and Gold, however.
Overtime proved to be another tough test for the Blue Streaks, but this time they responded well. Senior Jeff DeMarchi scored the game-winning tally in overtime, with Potocnik providing the assist, lifting JCU to a much-needed 3-2 victory over Rochester.
With the victory, the Blue Streaks were able to snap their losing streak, which stood at four games before the victory. JCU was also able to pick up its first overtime victory of the season as well as their third home win of the season, making their record a perfect 3-0 when playing at Don Shula Stadium this season.
By defeating Rochester College, the Blue and Gold were able to build some momentum under their feet as they finish up the non-conference portion of their schedule and prepare for upcoming Ohio Athletic Conference play. The Blue Streaks will begin OAC play this Saturday, Sept. 29 as they play host to the visiting Capital University Crusaders at Don Shula Stadium. The game is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. following the JCU women’s soccer game at 1 p.m.
Editor’s Note: The John Carroll University men’s soccer team played on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at home against the visiting Kenyon College Lords. Results, box scores and statistics can be found at www.jcusports.com