Prior to the start of the season, head coach Brian Small placed a great deal of emphasis on winning at home.
“You gotta protect your house,” Small said at the time.
His Blue Streaks have done that in their first two games. Following a home win over Concordia University Wisconsin last weekend, the John Carroll University men’s lacrosse team easily handled Trine University at home on Saturday, Feb. 22 by a score of 11-6.
The Blue Streaks peppered the Thunder net with shots over the course of the game, with most of the offensive activity occuring in the first half. The action was slowed by penalties in the second half, preventing both offenses from finding a rhythm.
Freshman Gary Anile started off the scoring early for the Blue and Gold. The midfielder hurled a shot past Trine goalkeeper Matt Lamb just 1:41 into the contest to give JCU the lead.
The Blue Streaks continued to pressure the Thunder with a persistent, prodding offense in the first quarter. By the end of the period, JCU held a 3-1 lead.
Thanks to goals by George Youpel and Rob Brzezinski, the Thunder tied the contest at three.
But after that, it was all JCU. The Blue Streaks tallied seven unanswered goals to put the game out of reach.
Freshman Stephen Leous started the streak for JCU in the second period. Leous fired a pair of shots into the net for his first goals of the season. Thanks to his efforts, the Blue Streaks possessed a solid 7-3 lead at halftime.
Leous tabbed another goal in the third period to finish off the hat trick, then freshman Declan O’Grady got on the board, too. The Blue and Gold put three in the net in the third before Trine scored late in the period to end JCU’s scoring rally and narrow JCU’s lead to 10-4.
Junior Kevin Werner, sophomore Jack MacLean and freshman Tommy Adolf made freshman goalkeeper Brian Bedell’s job easier, allowing only 18 shots on goal.
Yellow flags flew frequently in the second half, as referees called the game close, especially as the game continued. The penalties slowed the pace of the game, and Trine managed a pair of goals in the fourth, while JCU notched just one.
JCU was still satisfied with the final result, an 11-6 win and a 2-0 record.
Leous and Anile led the Blue Streaks with three goals apiece, while freshmen Keegan Flinter and Daniel Kincaid followed close behind with two each.
Editor’s Note: The Blue Streaks hit the road for the first time this season on Wednesday, Feb. 26 against Wooster College. Check out jcusports.com for stats and a recap of the game.