Despite a roller coaster season, the John Carroll University women’s soccer has hit their stride over the past few games, winning three in a row, including an upset over Otterbein University in the Ohio Athletic Tournament quarterfinal.
To even make it to that quarterfinal match, the Blue Streaks faced a must-win matchup with Muskingum University in their final game of the regular season. JCU stepped up when they needed it most and defeated the Fighting Muskies, 3-0 on Saturday, Oct. 31.
In the tenth minute of their matchup with Muskingum, sophomore Katie O’Donnell received a pass from near the left sideline and fired a shot at the net. Muskingum’s defenders blocked the shot, but the ball dribbled to the foot of freshman Acadia Palocko. The freshman did not miss her opportunity, slotting the ball into the back of the net.
The goal marked the first of Palocko’s career and granted JCU a 1-0 lead.
The Blue Streaks did not sit back on the lead. The hosts peppered the Muskingum net with shots, recording 13 shots and six shots on goal in a strong half for JCU. But Muskingum goalkeeper Liz Mitchell and the Fighting Muskies stood strong, keeping the score at 1-0 heading into the break.
Just a few minutes into the second half, the Blue Streaks added another goal. Freshman Bailey Fischer streaked down the left sideline, taking the ball from midfield into the box. Racing past the Muskingum midfielders, she found herself matched one-on-one with a Fighting Muskie defender. Fischer outflanked the defender and approached an advancing Mitchell. Fischer waited to the last possible moment before tabbing the ball past Mitchell into the back right corner of the net.
Fischer’s seventh goal of the season granted JCU a safe 2-0 lead in the 54th minute. The Blue Streaks still weren’t satisfied, though.
Less than two minutes later, senior Danielle Sharbaugh added the third and final goal for JCU, sealing the victory.
With the win, JCU finished the regular season with a 6-11-2 record and earned a spot in the OAC Tournament.
In their opening round matchup, JCU faced off against Otterbein, a team that defeated the Blue Streaks 3-0 in the regular season.
Fortunately for JCU, their quarterfinal matchup was a different story, as a 49’ long-distance shot off the foot of junior Dre Regrut found the back of the net and was enough to send JCU through to the OAC semifinals.
Editor’s Note: The Blue Streaks returned to action on Wednesday, Nov. 4 as they faced off against Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio in the semifinals of the OAC Tournament. Head to jcusports.com for a full box-score and recap.