Fans bundled up, making their way to Don Shula Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 4 to catch the highly anticipated John Carroll University men’s soccer matchup against Ohio Northern University. Luckily for the fans, the Blue Streaks did not disappoint.
JCU had not beaten ONU since 2007. Nor had they lost an Ohio Athletic Conference opener since 2009. On Saturday, the squad proved it was capable of keeping their OAC opener streak alive. This meant beating their long time rival for the first time in years.
Senior Trent Guy stepped up early in the match, blocking an aggressive ONU shot on goal 15 minutes into play. The game remained scoreless until the 20th minute, when senior captain Brian Potocnik slid in his team-leading sixth goal of the season.
Up 1-0 at the half, the Blue Streaks looked to secure a bigger lead over the Polar Bears. It wasn’t until the 75th minute that senior Karol Boryka sunk a goal into the top right corner of the net from Potocnik’s assist to bring the score to 2-0.
Boryka credits the teams emphasis on teamwork for its success on Saturday night.
“This game was about mentality,” said Boryka. “We proved to ourselves that when we all work for each other, there’s no limit to what this team can achieve.”
Although play remained intense throughout the rest of the game, the Blue Streaks worked together to successfully fend off all of ONU’s opportunities to score. Freshmen forward Dalton Browksy and midfielder Jacob Lombardo also helped bring the team to victory, contributing to the offensive play throughout. Junior goalkeeper Derek Jenkins had three saves, keeping his slate clean as the Blue Streaks recorded their third straight shutout in the midst of a 5-game winning streak.
“We knew Ohio Northern was going to be one of the better teams in the OAC and opening conference play with a win is crucial,” said Potocnik. “A win always feels good, but I am unbelievably proud of the effort everyone put in for the well deserved result. Beating ONU has given this team the confidence we need to continue to be successful down the road.”
JCU is now 8-3, and 1-0 in conference matchups. The Blue Streaks take the field next against Wilmington College on Saturday, Oct. 11 at Shula Stadium.