Hryszko’s overtime goal secures JCU’s first home victory


John Carroll Sports Information Department

The John Carroll University Men’s Soccer team celebrating after a 2-1 overtime victory against the College of Wooster.

Ashley McCall, Staff Reporter

After almost 180 minutes of play, spanning over two games, at Don Shula Stadium, the John Carroll University Men’s Soccer Team found the back of the net for the first time in the fall 2021 season. 

The goal was via Brenden Swann, who assisted in guiding the Blue Streaks to their first at-home win this season on Saturday, Sept. 11 in a 2-1 overtime victory against The College of Wooster. 

Ben Hryszko was the ultimate hero of the game, as he scored the game-winning goal with six minutes left in the first overtime period. 

Ben Hryszko’s game-winning goal on Saturday, Sept. 11 in overtime against the College of Wooster. (John Carroll Sports Information Department)

The Blue and Gold played their first home game against the University of Rochester on Sunday, Sept. 5. The match ended in a draw as neither team could finish a shot attempt after two regulation and two overtime periods. 

Less than a week later, on Saturday, Sept. 11, the Blue Streaks were back in University Heights, taking on the College of Wooster Fighting Scots, after a tough 3-2 loss on the road against Carnegie Mellon University. 

With this defeat, the JCU squad came into the Saturday game with vengeance in their hearts and hunger for a win. 

The contest started out like the previous game, a gritty, physical battle with strong defense on both sides of the field. 

The goalkeepers were a key factor as both John Carroll’s goalie, Connor Robinson, and Wooster’s goalie, Jason Prather, held the teams in a scoreless deadlock for the entire first half.

The second half looked to be moving in the same scoreless direction, but a goal was in wait for each team. 

Sophomore defender Daniel Kalic had possession of the ball when he sent it soaring into the box towards junior midfielder Swann. Swann headed the ball into the upper-right corner of the goal, just around Prather’s glove, to give the Blue and Gold their first score of their home campaign this season. 

“Scoring the first home game goal of the season means a lot to me,” said Swann. “To be able to defend our home turf is going to be enormous for our team’s success this season. Great teams do not lose games at home.”

Despite the Blue Streaks taking the lead, Wooster was not deterred with 20 minutes left in the contest.

In the 87th minute of the 90-minute match, Wooster earned a free kick opportunity, setting them up in scoring position. Senior midfielder Jack Giloth sent the ball into the box, finding senior forward Max Hill for a header goal, tying the game 1-1 with three minutes remaining. 

As the buzzer sounded, marking the end of regulation, the scoreboard read 1-1, signaling 10 more minutes of play for the two teams. 

It took less than half of that time for John Carroll to collect another score. 

Freshman midfielder James Hoover was defended intensely in the corner but managed to cross the ball across the box to fifth-year defender Hryszko. Hyrszko finished the play by heading the ball into the back of the net, winning the game for the Blue Streaks. 

“We have been struggling the last couple of games to score, and I knew this was a big game to try to turn around at home in front of our fans,” admitted Hryszko. “As soon as I came into the game I knew I had to make a difference and [the goal] is just one of the ways I did it for the team.”

John Carroll collected their first at-home win of the season, boosting their season record to 2-1-1. 

“We are a talented group of players, but if we do not work hard for each other, the results will not always go our way like we want them to,” remarked Swann. “What will help lead us to the goals we want to achieve this season is the relationships we have built with each other and how we continue to expand those relationships.”

“We are trying to build off this win and take it one game at a time,” said Hryszko. “We are looking forward to Wednesday so we can take it to Case Western and try to get a W.”

The John Carroll Men’s Soccer Team will look to continue their success as they remain at home for a non-conference matchup against Case Western Reserve on Wednesday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m.