Can anything stop the John Carroll Univery men’s lacrosse squad?
Bad weather, little experience and tough competition hasn’t phased head coach Brian Small’s squad.
The Blue Streaks proved that lengthy road trips don’t scare them, either. JCU journeyed over five hours to Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky. and defeated the Pioneers, 6-4, on Saturday, March 22.
Defense proved to be critical for the Blue and Gold, as the Pioneers did not muster a goal until late in the second quarter.
Meanwhile, the JCU offense went to work.
Freshman Dominic Starvaggi opened the scoring just 1:52 into the contest with his fourth goal of the season. The midfielder struck again with 7:38 left in the first period for his fifth of the year.
Freshman Michael Roth kept the good times rolling early in the second quarter. The attacker found the back of the net to make the score 3-0, JCU.
The Pioneers got on the board at the 6:23 mark of the second period, as Clark Watts narrowed the deficit to two.
The score remained 3-1 in favor of JCU until Roth posted his second tally of the contest just two and a half minutes into the third quarter. Starvaggi was credited with an assist on the goal.
Freshman phenom Stephen “Beef” Leous then added two to his goal total this season, increasing the count to an Ohio Athletic Conference-best 23 goals. Leous’ goals came within two minutes of each other midway through the third period.
Roth, the reigning Ohio Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week, notched an assist on each goal.
Transylvania responded 30 seconds after Leous’ second goal, as Sam Browning narrowed the JCU lead to 6-2 with 6:35 left in the third.
The Blue Streaks defense remained stout until late in the contest, when Zack Riggs broke through with 6:55 to play in the fourth quarter.
Transylvania’s Ben Erwin also scored with one second remaining in the game, but by that point, the game was decided.
When the dust settled, freshman JCU goalkeeper Brian Bedell emerged with a season and program-high 14 saves. Bedell also added six groundballs.
“A win on an overnight trip is huge because it shows you that your guys are focused and know what the task at hand is,” said Small after the victory.
Editor’s Note: JCU hosted Franciscan University on Wednesday, March 26. For stats and a recap of the game, check out jcusports.com