JCU Men’s Soccer locks in fourth consecutive OAC regular season title on senior night


Ashley McCall

The John Carroll Men’s Soccer Team senior class after their victory on Saturday, Oct. 30 against Wilmington. The senior class clinched their fourth OAC Regular Season Championship with the win on senior night.

Ashley McCall, Staff Reporter

Saturday, Oct. 30 marked a momentous night for the John Carroll University Men’s Soccer team as they celebrated senior night and clinched the No. 1 seed going into the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament after a 2-0 win against Wilmington College. 


With the victory, the Blue and Gold clinched their fourth straight OAC Regular Season Championship.


The Blue Streaks recognized 17 seniors at Don Shula Stadium, as they honored each of the athletes’ commitment and talent that they brought to the team for the past four years. 


The graduating class consisted of Connor Gynn, Tommy Gallina, Max Hess, Michael Burrington, Chase Fernkorn, Lawrence Cersosimo II, Connor Mendel, Jared Mattei, Justin LaFountain, Connor Robinson, Evan Malpass, Michael Adelman, Benjamin Hryszko, Stephen Schutt, Will Turrittin, Jared Ianiro and William Grubbs.


“The best part of playing on this team is the great teammates and coaches,” reflected Hryszko. “When I transferred from the University of Cincinnati, the transition was smooth and seamless because of my entire JCU family, teammates, coaches and faculty.”

As the pregame senior night ceremony concluded, the Blue and Gold prepared to take on OAC opponent, the Wilmington College Fightin’ Quakers, in what they knew would be a tough battle. Wilmington came into the match with only one loss this season against the nationally ranked No. 8 Otterbein University. 


John Carroll started strong, testing the Quaker’s goalkeeper, Felix Maurer, early in the game with three unsuccessful shot attempts. 


In the 17th minute of the match, freshman midfielder James Hoover ‘25 found himself at the far side of the field, guarded closely by a Wilmington defender. 


Hoover was able to send a pass through the box, finding John Carroll’s leading goal scorer Hryszko sliding into the box to put the Blue Streaks’ first shot in the back of the net and taking the lead 1-0. 


Hryszko’s goal was credited as the match’s game-winning goal and his fourth game-winning goal this season. 

John Carroll Fifth Year Benjamin Hryszko on Saturday, Oct. 30 against Wilmington College. Hryszko scored the game winning goal for the Blue Streaks in the senior night contest. (Ashley McCall)

From there, it became the battle of the defenses, as the ball went back and forth down the field, with neither team able to keep possession for long enough to get a quality look on the offensive end. 


The Blue and Gold’s defense made some big stops, keeping a clean sheet on the defensive end. 


“Everyone in the defense has amazing chemistry with each other and we trust each other to make the plays when we are called on,” said defender Izac Coleman ‘24. “My focus going into each game is to win my matchups against the other team’s attackers, and keep the ball and create chances offensively.”


Coleman looked to score late in the second half, dribbling up the field and taking a shot which was saved by Wilmington’s Maurer. 

John Carroll’s sophomore defender Izac Coleman on Saturday, Oct. 30 in their contest against Wilmington College. (Ashley McCall)

As the buzzer sounded for halftime, John Carroll led Wilmington 1-0, outshooting the Fightin’ Quakers 9-4 in the first half. 


The second half began with both teams’ aggression kicked up a notch. 


In the 72nd minute of the game, Wilmington’s Elorm Dogbey was given a double yellow card for unsportsmanlike conduct, forcing him out of the game and causing the Fightin’ Quakers to play down a player for the remainder of the match. 


Regardless of the uneven match up, the game’s intensity did not falter and the ball continued to be moved up and down the field. 


The Blue Streaks were able to get a security goal with just over a minute left in the game as Hoover found an opening off of a turnover, sending the ball around Maurer and into the back of the net. 


Throughout the whole season, Hoover has been a dominant force for the Blue Streaks as a rookie. Currently, Hoover is second on the team in goals this season with five total.


With that goal, the Blue and Gold finalized a 2-0 victory on their senior night game. 


JCU’s Goalkeeper Robinson recorded his third straight shutout in net for the Blue Streaks on Saturday. Robinson finishes out the regular season with a .867 save percentage, the top in the OAC. 


“It feels amazing to end the regular season with a win. The seniors have had such a big influence on the program and we promised to leave it all out on the field for them,” said Coleman. “Going into the OAC playoffs, we just need to continue playing our game. We have to continue to fight for each other and play every game as it could be our last.”


John Carroll outshot Wilmington 14-6, with seven of those shots on goal compared to the Fightin’ Quakers’ one. 


As the Blue Streaks receive a bye in the quarterfinals of the OAC Tournament, their first game of postseason conference tournament play will begin on Thursday, Nov. 4, against an opponent TBD at Don Shula Stadium. 


“As a team, our focus is one game at a time and we cannot look ahead. We need to have a win or go home mentality,” said Hryszko. “This fall has been a season of adjustments and fine-tuning due to a new coaching staff including Ante and Deki taking over for Hector, but I believe we are hitting our stride at the right time.”