After losing to The University of Mount Union earlier in the month, the John Carroll University men’s lacrosse team has bounced back with a vengeance. The team won both of its games this week against Muskingum (Wednesday, April 20, 17-2) and Otterbein (Saturday, April 23, 14-7). With the victories, first-year head coach Chris Cooper and the Blue Streaks improved to 8-5, 4-1 OAC on the season and are currently in the midst of a three-game winning streak.
One of the team’s leaders this week was Declan O’Grady with four goals against the Muskies and one goal against the Cardinals. Other key contributors for the week included Collin Riley (five goals), RP Whitty (three goals) and Michael Hubert (three goals).
What was the key to JCU’s success this week? O’Grady took a few minutes out of his day to give his input on the team’s recent scoring surge.
“Our biggest key to success was the consistency of our play on both sides of the field, on both defense and offense we played fast, smart and consistent and that led to the big win over Muskingum. In the coming weeks we need to continue forward with playing smart, fast and consistent and we will be very successful,” said O’Grady.
With only two games remaining on their schedule, the Blue Streaks are going to have to rely heavily on the upperclassmen represented on the 40-man roster, especially with the OAC tournament approaching.
“Leadership on this team is a little different than most. The team only has one senior, Jack MacLean, and he is a tremendous leader. With that being said, as a junior and upperclassman, I am expected to give 100 percent effort and dedicate 100 percent of my time to be a leader and role model to the younger guys on the team. My play on the field lately has been a key factor in being a good leader,” commented O’Grady.
Currently, JCU is placed second on the OAC ladder trailing first-place Baldwin Wallace (13-1, 5-0 OAC) by only one game. The Blue Streaks will have an incredible opportunity to take over the first place spot in the conference when they take on the Yellow Jackets this Wednesday, April 27 at Don Shula Stadium. The game is slated for a 7:00 p.m. start time and can be followed live through jcusports.com
Editor’s Note: John Carroll now has a one game lead over Mount Union in the OAC.