UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio – In a game that had a postseason-like feel, the Baldwin Wallace University men's soccer team played admirably against its nationally-ranked Ohio Athletic Conference and Cleveland crosstown rival John Carroll University, falling by a score of 1-0.
John Carroll (11-1-1, 3-1 OAC) is currently ranked No. 10 in the d3soccer.com poll and No. 13 in the United Soccer Coaches Association national poll.
In the 37th minute, sophomore All-OAC forward Danny Ruple (Berea/Berea-Midpark) got up past the goalie and, with defenders scrambling back to cover the goal, ripped a high, arcing shot over the net.
Sophomore goalkeeper Patrick Mehal (Richfield/Revere) made three saves in the first half while the Yellow Jacket back line of sophomore Jake Woodruff (Willow Grove, Pa./Upper Dublin), senior David Elsen (Cleves/St. Xavier), junior JT Taubeneck (Parma/Normandy) and junior Michael Somody (North Canton/Hoover) held the nationally ranked Blue Streaks at bay with only total four shots in the half. Somody subbed in for junior Garrett McCue (Bourbonnais, Ill./Bradley-Bourbonnais Community) just three minutes into the first half and gave a great effort for the entire of the game.
Mehal made two more quick saves to start the second half off a high pressure situation when John Carroll took a free kick following a foul just outside the penalty box. Following the two saves, BW (4-8-2, 0-3-1 OAC) then passed the ball up the field to Ruple who took two shots of his own but could not find the back of the net.
John Carroll finally broke the stalemate in the 50th minute when Jesse Marinaro opened up the scoring off an assist from Thomas Korsa to give the Blue Streaks a 1-0 lead.
In the 63rd minute, the Yellow Jackets gained possession in the midfield and executed a series of passes that led up to a header shot by freshman midfielder Bryce Posner (Aurora) that was saved. Sophomore midfielder Joey Geither (Parma/Normandy) and Ruple also took shots as the Yellow Jackets began to penetrate the John Carroll defense as the second half progressed.
Geither broke back on defense in the 73rd minute, blocking a shot by Jake Girardot to credit the Yellow Jackets with a team save and prevent the Blue Streaks from expanding their lead.
Following a free kick by Ruple in the 84th minute, junior forward Ryan Hassell (Southampton, Bermuda/Western Reserve Academy) sent a header over the net. Elsen had the final scoring opportunity for the Yellow Jackets in the 89th minute when he also sent a header shot high.
John Carroll held the final advantage in shots taken (14-11), shots on goal (9-6) and corner kicks (9-1) while Mehal outsaved the Blue Streak goalie (8-6).
BW will look to earn its first OAC win when it travels to take on Muskingum University on Saturday, Oct. 14 at 4 p.m.