JCU Men’s Soccer season comes to end but with light at the end of the tunnel


JCU Sports Information Department

Logan Penton looks ahead for his teammates on offense in men’s soccer.

Paul Raglow-DeFranco, Staff Reporter

John Carroll University’s Men’s Soccer Team’s sixth straight National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament appearance did not end the way they wanted, but the season-ending loss does not take anything away from yet another magical season. 

The Blue Streaks season began with a few close losses to some of the top-ranked teams in Division III including a 2-1 loss to No. 17 Kenyon College, a 1-0 loss to No. 18 Carnegie Mellon and a 2-1 loss to No. 10 Calvin University. Following their early season struggles, John Carroll began to catch their rhythm and had not looked back ever since.

John Carroll went 8-1 in conference play during the regular season which earned them a trip to the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament.

Following a dominating 4-1 defeat over Wilmington in the OAC Championship, John Carroll earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament in Baltimore, Maryland. 

Heading into the tournament, the Blue Streaks were riding a hot streak, winning 12 of their last 13 games, the one loss from Ohio Northern on October 19th. A big part of their winning streak was due to their defensive play which went from great to elite in the second half of the season. In their final 13 games, John Carroll outscored their opponents 22-4 with 11 of the 13 games being shutouts. 

The defense was led by star Izac Coleman ’24 who took home Ohio Athletic Conference Defender-of-the-Year. 

“Winning OAC Defensive Player of the Year is a huge accomplishment for me,” says Coleman. “I could not have done it without my teammates and coaches. My award is the result of the brotherhood we have built.”

To make matters even worse for opposing teams, not only did John Carroll possess one of the league’s most tenacious defenders but one of the best goalkeepers as well. Jake Vogrin ‘24 possessed a league-leading .851% save percentage while also leading the league in goals against at ten. His phenomenal play has earned him Ohio Athletic Conference Goalkeeper-of-the-Year. 

“I was super proud of myself to win this award. Going into the season, the starting job was in the air so I took it upon myself to put in the work in the off-season to gain the job,” says Vogrin. “That being said, a lot of credit goes to the defense, adding my fellow Medina alum Steven Samuelson ‘25 having the experience from Coleman and Danny Khalic ‘24 was also a necessity for our success and then the leadership from our senior captain Nick Ruggerio ’23 capped it off allowing us to have a complete solid back line.”

Both Coleman and Vogrin continued their winning ways into the first round of the NCAA Tournament game against Scranton.

The game started slow for both teams as there were only three attempted shots in the first 15 minutes of play. From then on, it was all Blue Streaks.

At the fifteenth minute, Samuelson sent a perfectly placed cross into the box to forward Patrick Koenig ‘24. Koenig wasted no time capitalizing off of the cross as he placed the ball into the top left corner of the net to give the Blue Streaks a 1-0 lead. 

“We needed to get on the board early to make a statement,” Koenig stated. “For me to help make that statement is incredibly important and I could not have done it without the beautiful pass from Samuelson.”

15 minutes later, John Carroll struck again, this time by forward Jack Foht ‘25. The consistent Blue Streak pressure resulted in a Scranton turnover during a clearing attempt. Foht put his body on the line as he blocked the clearing attempt resulting in a breakaway opportunity for him. Scranton goalkeeper Aidan Hartey ‘23 came out to challenge Foht on the shot allowing Foht to float the ball up and over Hartey and into the empty net to give the Blue Streaks a 2-1 advantage. 

The dagger came with only a couple of minutes to spare in the first half as Logan Brown ‘26 was able to make something out of nothing with a beautiful feed to graduate student Michael Burrington.  Brown, who was surrounded by several Royal jerseys, was able to break away and find Burrington sprinting freely down the field. Burrington found himself in a one-on-one chance with Hartey and was able to shoot it past him to increase the Blue Streak lead to 3-0. 

Nick Felician works around a defender on his way to the goal. (JCU Sports Information Department)

John Carroll outshot Scranton 8-2 in the first half while also earning five corner kicks to Scranton’s three.

John Carroll cruised in the second half with a comfortable three-goal lead. Vogrin had a relatively easy day in goal, saving the two shots he was faced with. Meanwhile, the Blue Streak defense continued to be dominant as they held the Royals to just nine shots, four of which were on target.

John Carroll’s 3-0 victory over Scranton moved them onto the round of 32 where they faced John Hopkins University the following evening.

In a rematch from a year ago, where John Carroll defeated the Blue Jays 2-1, John Hopkins was able to avenge their loss in a 3-0 defeat over the Blue Streaks. 

The Blue Streaks were able to fend off the Blue Jay’s surge for the majority of the first half up until the 33rd minute.

Following a sloppy clearing attempt from the Blue and Gold defense, forward Scotty Coleman ’26 was able to pounce on the loose ball. He evaded a few Blue Streak tackles before making his way to the six-yard box. From there, he tapped the ball past Vogrin to put the Blue Jays up 1-0. 

John Carroll outshot eight to one while also committing 13 fouls compared to the John Hopkins five. The second half required a major turn-around for the Blue Streaks if they wanted to make it back-to-back seasons in the Sweet 16. Unfortunately, the second half was much of the same.

John Carroll came out of the half determined to make up for their lackluster 45 minutes of play. They created six scoring chances in the opening six minutes, including shots from both Koenig and Logan Penton ’25.

Once the Blue Jays outlasted the early surge, they picked up right where they left off in half number one. In the 66th minute, Scotty Coleman would add another goal to his tally following a terrific pass from Jackson Shapiro ’26. Coleman was able to get behind the defense and place the ball into the bottom left corner of the net to bring their advantage to 2-0.

John Hopkins added another goal to their tally in the final 90 seconds of play as midfielder Francis Myer ’24 earned his second goal of the season. John Hopkins finished the match with 16 shots compared to John Carroll’s five. 

John Carroll Men’s Soccer’s incredible season came to an end with a final record of 16-5-1.

Despite John Carroll’s fifth consecutive OAC Championship and second consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament, John Carroll is not pleased with their results in the tournament.

“None of us are happy with the way our season ended and that will be used as motivation to improve in the off-season,” says Coleman. “We would’ve liked to be back to the Sweet 16, but last night wasn’t our night. With the players we have returning I have no doubt we will continue to win trophies and break records next year.” 

The Blue Streaks have good reason to be excited about next season. Of the 11 starters, nine of them are underclassmen and will be returning next year. 

Despite the loss, the experience in the tournament will go a long way toward repeating a OAC Championship and making yet another appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

“Next season I just can’t wait to get back out there with the guys, we have such a good group of people here, not only talent-wise but just a fun tightly-knitted group,” says Vogrin.  “On top of that we’re always hungry for history, so one of our main goals will be to make it back to the NCAA Tournament and then make a run to the championship.”