There was no warm welcome for Southwestern University when they made the 1,400 mile trip to University Heights, Ohio. In a brisk night match-up on Friday, April 1, John Carroll University exploded to an 18-8 win over the Pirates.
Sophomore Gina Vilsack and freshman Jillian Millard led the way for the Blue Streaks with four goals apiece. The victory pushes JCU to a 6-2 record through the non-conference portion of the regular season schedule.
Vilsack and Millard provided the opening tallies for the Blue Streaks in just the opening three minutes of the game. At 23:47 to play in the first half, freshman
Brooke McQuinn went coast-to-coast for her fifth goal of the season. After SU cut the JCU lead to 3-2 at the 22:36 mark, the Blue Streaks went to work.
JCU scored five unanswered goals, sparked by Vilsack and Millard, to open up an 8-3 lead with just under 12 minutes to play in the opening frame. Sophomore Meghan Harte got into the action with her 12th and 13th goals of the year.
In the final minutes of the first half, the Blue Streaks would go on two, three unanswered goal streaks, helping set a new season best for goals in a half.
Heading into the half time, JCU led Southwestern, 14-5. The 14 goal explosion in the first 30 minutes of the game marks the highest total for the 2016 season.
Seven different goal scorers were featured for JCU in the first half, including four different multiple goal scorers. Millard tallied all four of her goals in the first half.
It was a much more tame second half offensively for both squads.
The Blue Streaks opened the second half with back-to-back scores from Vilsack and sophomore Grace Curatolo.
Southwestern freshman Kate David provided the most resistance, scoring on back-to-back occasions in the opening minutes of the second frame. Junior Courtney Ragland capped the scoring for the contest at the 9:15 mark of the second half. The tally was the 42nd goal slotted by Ragland this year. The final nine minutes of the half was scoreless.
After the game, Curatolo talked about the teams confidence heading into the squad’s upcoming games.
“The team is looking great, but there is always room for improvement. With all of the handwork we have been putting in this season we feel confident going into the OAC games.”
She continued, “We have gone through so much as a team and when we hit the field you can feel the chemistry executing.”