JCU Men’s Lacrosse uses defensive tactics to hold strong against Ohio Northern and earn OAC victory


JCU Sports Information Department

Matt Berdysiak works his way around the defense for the Blue and Gold as he adds through goal contribution.

Leah Harrigan, Staff Reporter

Focusing on the fundamentals seemed to be the strategy for John Carroll Men’s Lacrosse this past weekend.

On Sat., April 1, the Blue Streaks boarded the bus as they traveled to Ohio Northern to face-off against a crew of Polar Bears that were eager to tally an Ohio Athletic Conference victory.

But John Carroll spoiled the plans of Ohio Northern, earning a 9-3 road victory in a defensive battle. It was the disciplined defense and pivotal offensive plays that made things work in favor of the Blue and Gold.

The first quarter was marked by unpredictable weather and an overall difficulty maintaining possession of the ball. 

But, Morgan Morrell ‘23 got the Blue Streaks on the board. The Polar Bears went on to answer that goal, leaving the score at a deadlocked 1-1 after the opening slot of play.

In the second quarter, both squads found offensive production difficult amongst high winds that resulted in a plethora of feisty ground ball pickup scenarios.

Matt Berdysiak ‘23 relieved the offensive tension, giving the Blue Streaks their second goal of the game. At the half, both teams were disgruntled by a striking 2-1 score.

The Blue and Gold certainly went back to the drawing board at the halfway point of the game, revising original game strategies into a prime focus of the fundamentals of lacrosse

Berdysiak struck again, quickly followed by Morrell. The fuel was amplified going into the last portion of the game despite a swift response from Ohio Northern as John Carroll just started to become comfortable.

But a combination of veterans and newcomers ultimately worked to build chemistry going into the fourth. Depth proved to be of significant importance.

At the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth quarter, Josh Lombardo ‘26 dished a pass to Berdysiak for a goal while Cam Cecere (graduate student) dished a face-off win to Colin Morrissey ‘26 who found the back of the net.

The momentum proved to be too much for the Polar Bears to combat so the Blue Streaks continued to fire away.

Matt Russo ‘23, Berdysiak and Morrissey were credited with the final goals that solidified the road victory for the Blue Streaks.

After some offensive frustration early on, it was clear that John Carroll opted for a strategy of clean passes, communication, aggressiveness and well-placed shots in the later portion of the game.

A focus on fundamentals ultimately was the deciding factor for the result of this OAC matchup.a

With a gritty win added to John Carroll’s record, the Blue Streaks head to Capital for their next game on Fri., April 7. The opening face-off is set to occur at 1:00 p.m.