Senior night victory for JCU Men’s Soccer propels the team going into the OAC tournament


JCU Sports Information Department

The team celebrates following a goal against Muskingum on senior night.

Ashley McCall, Sports Editor

On Sat., Oct. 29, the John Carroll University Men’s Soccer celebrated senior night as the team collected their final regular season win of the year against Muskingum University, earning the second seed spot going into the Ohio Athletic Conference postseason. 

“Mentality was the key to our success this weekend,” explained JCU Head Coach Dejan Mladenovic. “Although the game did not mean anything towards the OAC standings since we had earned a ‘bye’ with our win against Mount Union on Wednesday night, it did mean a lot in terms of regional rankings.” 

The Blue Streaks began the game by honoring 11 senior players for their hard work for the team over the past four years: Dominic Audino, Blake Barna, Mike Burrington, Nicholas Felician, Ian Fields, Tim Flannery, Connor Gynn, Noah Lindon, Gino Romeo, Nicholas Ruggiero and Brenden Swann.

“The senior night festivities this weekend were first class and we can’t thank all of the families enough who made this possible,” continued Mladenovic. “The Men’s Soccer program is extremely blessed to have such great parents and families that support us. The coaching staff continues to remind the players how lucky they are to have the love and support that they do.”

Following the celebrations of the night, the game kicked off with a new found momentum as the roar of the crowd filled Don Shula Stadium. 

The Blue and Gold were dominant on the offensive end as the team was able to find the back of the net within the first 10 minutes of the match. 

Swann was able to get around the defense and fired a shot towards Muskies goalkeeper, Evan Laraba. His shot hit the crossbar but was able to be redirected by Jack Foht ‘25. This is Foht’s fifth recorded goal of the season. 

“Our goal was to score early and make sure we had the game under control before half time ended,” said Foht. “We wanted to get a lot of seniors to play on their senior night.”

Less than 10 minutes later, Swann finished one of his own off an assist from Daniel Kalic ‘24, to put John Carroll ahead 2-0 just halfway into the first half. 

The Blue Streaks kept the fire going on offense as the defense held strong in the back 50, smothering any Muskingum scoring opportunity. 

Blake Barna on the field during the game against Muskingum where he scored the first goal of his career. (JCU Sports Information Department)

Barna added the final goal of the first half at the 43-minute mark with the first goal of his career pushing the Blue and Gold’s lead to 3-0. 

The second half continued similarly to the first with John Carroll in the driver seat on offense and suffocating any offensive spark by the Muskies. 

With just 18 minutes remaining in the game, the Blue and Gold put together a fantastic play for Basheer Alramahi ‘26 to score the first goal of his career alongside Barna. 

As the clock hit the zero mark, the scoreboard reflected a 4-0 score in favor of the Blue and Gold as the team finished the regular season with a win. 

The Blue Streaks ended with 22 shots while the Muskies were limited to just six throughout the match, a testament to the strength and versatility of the John Carroll defense. 

With this victory, the Blue and Gold hold a 13-4-1 overall record as they go 8-1 in conference play and are currently on a four game win streak. 

“We are peaking at the right time,” said Mladenovic. “Our players have a great understanding of the new system we implemented back in August and are firing on all cylinders. There is always room for improvement but we feel we are in a great space heading into postseason play.”

The squad will be back in action on Thurs., Nov. 3 at 7:00 p.m. as they host the OAC Semifinal in University Heights. 

“Going into the tournament, we need to focus on starting the game well and ending the game even better,” said Foht. “We have had several games this year where games were decided within the first five minutes of the game and the final five minutes. We need to be focused at all times throughout the game and results will go our way.”