BEREA, Ohio – The Baldwin Wallace University men's soccer team suffered an Ohio Athletic Conference loss to crosstown rival and No. 8 nationally-ranked John Carroll University by a final score of 4-1 on Tressel Field in George Finnie Stadium.
In its first matchup against a nationally-ranked opponent this season, BW (9-8, 2-4 OAC) dropped a pivotal contest with heavy playoff implications. The Yellow Jackets now sit in eighth place in the OAC standings, two positions removed from the coveted last playoff spot, and with just three games remaining in the regular season.
The first half got off to a tumultuous start, as two goals were scored in the game's first eight minutes. The Yellow Jackets were able to get on the scoreboard first in the second minute, when sophomore midfielder Dylan Keeling (Rocky River) received a well-placed thru-ball from senior All-OAC, Academic All-OAC, and CoSIDA Academic All-American Danny Ruple (Berea/Berea-Midpark). Keeling's initial shot was blocked, fumbled by a John Carroll defender, and then misguided as a credited own-goal. The Blue Streaks responded in the eighth minute when senior Matt Nigro managed to capitalize on a broken play inside the box and kick in a bouncing ball to even the score at 1-1. John Carroll gained control of the lead in the 27th minute when sophomore Justin LaFountain banked in a precise cross from sophomore Lawrence Cersosimo. The Blue Streaks then cushioned their lead to less than eight minutes later when junior Jared Ianiro streaked down the right wing to pursue a pass made by senior Jarrod McDowell, and scored on a far-side shot to go up 3-1 before the break.
John Carroll continued to tack on to their lead in the second half, when Cerosimo chipped the ball over the BW keeper after a penetrative feed from LaFountain in the 64th minute. BW weathered the storm for remainder of the game as they failed to generate a shot on goal in the second half.
With tremendous play from BW senior goalkeeper Patrick Mehal (Richfield/Revere), who made an abundance of highlight sprawling saves throughout the game, the score remained stagnant at 4-1 until the final buzzer. Mehal's heroics were ultimately not enough, as he saw his record fall to 9-8 on the year. He made a season-high 12 saves on 16 shots encountered
The Yellow Jackets return to the pitch on Saturday, October 26, when they travel to Wilmington to take on Wilmington College in a crucial OAC matchup at 7:00 p.m. on Charlie Gilhart Field.