A cool September evening welcomed the John Carroll University men’s soccer team back to the friendly walls of Don Shula Stadium for the second home game on the 2015 schedule. In front of the Alumni Night crowd, on Saturday, Sept. 19, the Blue Streaks beat the Hiram College Terriers 3-0 in the 40th meeting between the two programs.
Scoring chances came at a premium during the opening minutes of the match. It took 26 minutes for the Blue Streaks to make a break through on the scoreboard. A low cross into the box found a falling senior midfielder Shaq Bridges, who earned the Blue and Gold, a penalty. Bridges made good on the penalty duties after hitting the bottom right corner and putting JCU up 1-0.
An insurance goal would come next for the Blue Streaks before the half time whistle blew. Sophomore forward Karol Boryka found a streaking Jesse Marinaro at the top of the box. A strong strike bounced off a Terriers defender and found its way to the upper-right corner of the frame. The goal stood as the second of the game and the second on the season for Marinaro.
JCU would enter the half up 2-0. This was just the second time the Blue Streaks earned such a lead heading into the locker room. The first came against Saint Vincent College during the first home game in 2015 after JCU led 4-0 heading into half.
Sophomore forward Dalton Browsky supplied the dagger after he danced around Hiram goalkeeper Luke Willhelm. The slow roller into the empty net gave John Carroll the 3-0 lead that finished off the match.
The Blue and Gold enjoyed a 14-to-5 shot advantage in the 3-0 victory. Freshman goalkeeper Liam McIntosh earned his first collegiate shutout for JCU, making one save in the game.
After beating Hiram, JCU continues an impressive run at home. The Blue and Gold hold a 2-0 record at home this season and now have a 26-2-3 record at home over the last 31 fixtures. Last year the Blue and Gold went a perfect 8-0 at home in the regular season. The win also marks the second home shut out this season.
JCU now stands at 4-2-1 overall this season and extends its win streak against Hiram to three.
The victory also improved the Blue and Gold to 2-0 at Don Shula Stadium this season. Going back to the 2013 season, the JCU men’s soccer program has won 12 of their last 13 matches in University Heights, with the only loss coming last season in the OAC playoffs to Heidelberg University.
With the victory over Hiram, JCU will travel to Geneva, PA for the final installment of their non-conference schedule to face off against Geneva College. The Blue Streaks defeated Geneva 6-0.
To kick off their Ohio Athletic Conference schedule, JCU will travel to Ada, Ohio on Saturday, Oct. 3 to face off against Ohio Northern University.