Although rarely the favorite, the underdog spirit of this Blue Streaks team showed all season, as they fought through injury and adversity and played their way all the way to the Ohio Athletic Conference Championship, where they eventually fell to Ohio Northern University, 2-0.
Although they did not finish the season as OAC champions, the season was far from a lost cause. Finishing with only two conference losses in the regular season landed them at sixth in the conference and propelled them into OAC Tournament play. After a dramatic game against Capital University that went into penalty kicks, the Blue Streaks celebrated their way to the OAC Championship and ended up settling for a very impressive second place finish, blowing preseason expectations out of the water.
This season, of course, would have been much different if not for the spectacular play of some the best players in the OAC. Sophomore forward Kay Akerly, who led the team with 13 goals this year, was named forward of the year for the entire OAC. Along with Akerly, junior midfielder Genny Georgen was named to the All-OAC first team, with 3 goals, 5 assists and a game-winning goal to her name.
And let us not forget sophomore goalkeeper Haley McDonald. McDonald had a stellar sophomore campaign for the Blue Streaks and was a huge contributor in the team’s finals run. This year, she finished with a fantastic 0.99 goals against average and eight shutouts, while playing every single game.
The John Carroll women look to be in good shape next year, returning almost their entire squad. Seniors Amanda Buxton, Mackenzie Kenner and Kristen Profeta will be missed, but the lady Blue Streaks have some more than capable players waiting in the wings, ready to step up.
“Next year we will be ready for what coach Mike [Marich] wants and be able to put our team into a position to score more. We want that three-peat into the finals,” McDonald said.
Overall, a season that many were expecting to be mediocre turned out to be a pleasant surprise for everyone. The team finished with an impressive record of 9-7-4, identical to the year prior, and ended up second in the OAC Tournament.