An early season two-game road trip has become a tradition for the John Carroll University men’s soccer team. Since 2010, the Blue Streaks have traveled out of state for a pair of non-conference games to prepare for Ohio Athletic Conference play.
For the first time in four seasons, the Blue Streaks emerged from this early season challenge without a loss. JCU tied North Carolina Wesleyan on Friday evening, 2-2, and defeated Methodist University 3-1 on Saturday evening as part of the Soccer Kicks Cancer Methodist University Invitational in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Entering Wednesday’s road contest against Case Western Reserve University, the Blue Streaks held a 3-1-1 record.
North Carolina Wesleyan struck first in Friday’s matchup, as Drew Wilste tabbed a goal in the 26th minute to open the scoring. Junior Justin Miller knotted the match at one just 12 minutes later with his fourth goal of the season. Miller leads the Blue Streaks and the OAC with 10 points this season.
The Blue Streaks grabbed the lead in the 74th minute, thanks to sophomore Dalton Browsky’s third goal of the year. Sophomore Jesse Marinaro added an assist on the go-ahead goal.
The lead did not last long, as Wesleyan’s Olafur Einarsson propelled the ball past goalkeeper Zach Fehrenbach thanks to a pass from Wiltse.
The teams traded shots in two overtime periods, but neither squad could net the clincher.
Friday’s lengthy contest did not lead to a lackluster performance on Saturday, as the Blue Streaks came out firing against Methodist University.
JCU failed to score in the first half, but the visitors outshot the Monarchs in the first half, 4-1. The Blue Streaks persistence paid off early in the second half.
Freshman Andrew Frank drew a penalty in the box in the 50th minute, leading to a Jake Lombardo goal. The sophomore now has eight points this season.
JCU’s 1-0 advantage did not last, as Methodist struck back less than two minutes later on an Eirik Nordseth penalty kick.
The teams remained deadlocked at 1-1 for over 14 minutes before Browsy broke the tie in the 77th minute. Marinaro provided the assist on Browsky’s tally before adding a goal of his own three minutes later. Methodist keeper Alex Rabone fended off a Browsky shot, but could not stop Marinaro’s rebound, which sealed a 3-1 JCU victory.
“I’m really happy with our performance this past weekend, said head coach Hector Marinaro. “A win and tie on the road when traveling 10 hours against quality opponents are good results. The boys played well enough to win both games but an unlucky break in the first game resulted in a tie. Playing 2 games in less than 24 hours, we used all 22 players on the trip and everyone contributed to these results.”
The Blue Streaks return home to Don Shula Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 19 for a non-conference matchup against Hiram College at 7 p.m.
Editor’s Note: The Blue Streaks returned to action on Wednesday, Sept. 16 as they faced off against Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. Head to jcusports.com for a full box-score and recap.