The 2012 regular season campaign has been an interesting one, and a tale of two stories, for the John Carroll University men’s soccer team, to say the least. The Blue Streaks began the 2012 campaign with five losses in their first seven games, leaving them with a 2-5 record and disappointment. However, the Blue Streaks would then 7-1-3 in their final 11 contests, including a 2-1 victory over the Wilmington College Quakers on Saturday, Oct. 29.
The most recent victory over the Quakers not only concluded the 2012 regular season for the Blue Streaks, but it also secured the No. 2 seed in the Ohio Athletic Conference.
Competing on the road in Wilmington, Ohio, the Blue Streaks knew that a win was needed to ensure the best OAC Tournament seeding possible. Coming into the match, the Blue and Gold had won five consecutive matches against the Quakers and wanted to keep that win streak alive with yet another victory over Wilmington.
Freshman Shaq Bridges put the Blue Streaks on the board early, as he recorded the first goal of the game in the 17th minute, giving JCU the early 1-0 lead. Later in the first half, the Quakers responded with a goal of their own to tie the game, as Cody Sabins scored for Wilmington, tying the game at one in the 33rd minute of action.
With the score knotted at one at halftime, both teams knew that the next goal scored in the game could very well be the game-deciding goal. Fortunately for the the Blue Streaks, sophomore Matt Brodman scored his first goal of the game, his third of the season, in the 74th minute of action, to give the visitors the late lead on the road.
From there, senior goalkeeper Carl Contrascier and the rest of the Blue Streaks’ defense hung tough to stave off a potential comeback from the Quakers. Behind goals from Bridges and Brodman, as well as five saves in net from Contrascier, the Blue and Gold held on to defeat Wilmington for the sixth consecutive time, this time by a score of 2-1.
With the victory, the Blue Streaks were able to wrap up the No. 2 seed in the OAC Tournament and position themselves for a potential OAC championship run. JCU (9-6-3, 5-1-3 OAC) finished behind Ohio Northern University (18-2, 9-0 OAC) in the OAC standings.
With the No. 2 seed in the OAC Tournament, the Blue Streaks earned a first-round bye and will play the winner of the OAC quarterfinal game between the No. 3 Heidelberg University Student Princes and the No. 6 Baldwin Wallace University Yellow Jackets. The Blue and Gold will host the winner of that game on Thursday, Nov. 1 at Don Shula Stadium at 7 p.m.
Receiving a first-round bye and the opportunity to host an OAC Tournament game bodes well for the Blue Streaks, who are 6-0-2 when playing at home this season.
Perhaps coincidentally, the Blue Streaks tied both Heidelberg, by a score of 1-1, and Baldwin Wallace, by a score of 0-0, when playing each team earlier this season.
The last time that JCU played Baldwin Wallace in the OAC Tournament was last season, where the Blue Streaks defeated the Yellow Jackets at home, by a final score of 2-0.
On the other hand, the last time that JCU played Heidelberg in the OAC Tournament took place almost two years ago on Nov. 4, 2010, as the Student Princes defeated the Blue Streaks in the semifinals by a narrow score of 2-1.