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The news that keeps us Onward On!
Since 1925
The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

Men’s soccer secures at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament

Dale Armbruster, John Carroll Sports Information
John Carroll continues their campaign, despite a loss in the OAC Semifinals

John Carroll men’s soccer walked off the pitch last week with deep rooted feelings of loss and heartbreak. For the first time in five years, the Blue Streaks failed to secure an Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament title after a devastating 0-0, 3-4 penalty kicks loss to Otterbein in the OAC Semifinals.

But, hope reigns supreme.

The Blue Streaks may have been barred from victory, but on Nov. 6, John Carroll found out that the 2023 campaign wasn’t quite over. In the 2023 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III Men’s Soccer Championship Selection Show, the Blue Streaks earned an at-large bid to the first round of the tournament.

“Getting an at large bid was a massive accomplishment for us,” said Izac Coleman ‘24, a Blue Streak defender who boasts the titles of being a 2022 Third Team All-American, a 2022 First Team All-Region selection, the 2022 Ohio Athletic Conference Defender of the Year and a 2022 First Team All-OAC selection.

“We put ourselves in a great spot with how we performed in non-conference games this year and we deserve to be in [the tournament],” finished Coleman.

The structure of the NCAA tournament bracket allows for 41 slots dedicated to conference champions, leaving the remaining 23 berths for teams that are selected by the committee. These selections are based on regular season performance, rankings, personnel, etc,.

John Carroll finished the 2023 campaign with an overall record of 13-5-2 and a 6-3 OAC record. However, the Blue Streaks bested some nationally-ranked opponents at the start of their season, including a dominant 4-0 victory against No. 5 Kenyon College.

The selection committee understood the level of skill possessed by John Carroll and gave them a second chance at victory. With the OAC Tournament behind the Blue Streaks, the only option is to move forward with confidence and composure as they enter match play with the nation’s best squads.

John Carroll will travel to Fredericksburg, VA for the first round of the tournament in a matchup against St. Mary’s College of Maryland on Sat., Nov. 11. This will be the first meeting between the teams, allowing both squads to hash out their talents on the field. St. Mary’s College (MD) has an 11-6-4 record, boasting a 2023 United East Conference Championship which secured the Seahawks an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

“We’re going into this tournament as if it’s a new season,” said Coleman. “We’ve been given the chance to go out and play more games with our family and we won’t be taking that for granted.”

Time will dictate John Carroll’s story from now on. On the pitch, the Blue Streaks look to execute with consistency and class. Onward on!

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