Men’s soccer surpasses Wilmington College in a non-traditional fashion


JCU Sports Information Department

The Men’s Soccer team celebrates their win on Saturday night.

Leah Harrigan, Staff Reporter

Call it what you will, but in the eyes of the members of the John Carroll Men’s Soccer team, a victory is a victory.

On Saturday, Oct. 1, the Blue Streaks hosted their first Ohio Athletic Conference opponent, Wilmington College. Kickoff was set for 7:00 p.m. and the high-stakes atmosphere ensued almost immediately. The vibrant lights illuminated the turf at Don Shula Stadium, setting a picture-perfect backdrop for a game of soccer.

At the final whistle, the Streaks came out on top with a 1-0 win over the Fightin’ Quakers. 

“Both teams fought hard for the full 90 minutes and we’re fortunate to get three points in our first OAC match,” reflected dynamic midfielder Ben Brucken ‘24.

The lone goal, however, was the result of a nontraditional trajectory. In minute 88, with a draw within the grasp of both squads, John Carroll sent a pass toward the Wilmington back line. 

A Quaker player attempted to redirect the ball, potentially looking to clear it far from the Wilmington defensive zone. But, the diversion was skewed and the ball ended up in the back of the Quaker’s net, a devastating “own-goal” scenario that would project the Blue and Gold to triumph.

“Anytime you get a win in the OAC, it’s something to be happy about.” added Brucken.

To his point, John Carroll was the enforcer in Saturday’s match. The Blue Streaks attempted to gain a competitive advantage by sending 22 shots in the direction of Wilmington’s zone. Five of the 22 shots were directly on goal, but it was no secret that John Carroll was brewing a deeply ambitious offensive storm.

Patrick Koenig ‘24, Jack Foht ‘25 and Hayden Haffner ‘24 all tallied shots on net, but Wilmington’s goalkeeper showed no signs of letting any of the well-crafted attempts slide.

Hayden Haffner competing in the game on Saturday. (JCU Sports Information Department)

Both halves of play involved trades of possession, swift counter-attacks and critical defensive tackles that kept spectators curious as to what the final result would be.

John Carroll set up for eight different corner kicks throughout the match, each trial being as precise and assertive as the last. 

The sheer frustration was obvious, as the Blue and Gold knew that the scoreboard wasn’t a reflection of their dominance throughout the game. 

“Some things from Saturday will be addressed during film and in practice leading up to Heidelberg [ the team’s next match], but I feel if we continue to follow our coaching staff’s lead and stick together as a team we’ll continue to stride in the right direction,” Brucken mentioned.

John Carroll Men’s Soccer is home to a plethora of talented athletes. Each time the Blue and Gold take the field, it is certain that they will put forth an audacious effort. 

Win, loss, or tie, it is guaranteed that the Blue Streaks will always revisit the drawing board, looking to solidify their talents, refine technical skills and emphasize the importance of cohesiveness. 

“We’re looking to take it one game at a time and strive to be better each time we step on the field,” finished Brucken.

John Carroll continues their OAC campaign with a game at Heidelberg University on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 4:00 p.m. The Streaks will move forward in the same fashion of consistency: one game at a time.