John Carroll wins 5th straight OAC title

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio – The Wilmington College men’s soccer team saw its season come to an end Saturday night in the Ohio Athletic Conference championship match as John Carroll University earned a 4-1 victory over the Fightin’ Quakers at Don Shula Stadium.

The four goals tied the most JCU has scored in a game and marks the most Wilmington surrendered.

Wilmington concludes its 2022 campaign with a 12-6-3 record. The 2022 Quakers made the program’s first appearance in the OAC Tournament title game since 2006. The senior class of Michael Owusu (fifth year), Grant Murray, Jeffry Vasquez, Elorm Dogbey (fifth year), Casey Miller, Yusef Muqtadir and Phillip Wynn leave the program with a four-year record of 39-19-9.

“This group gave me everything they had during this tournament run, and I am so appreciative of this team and our coaching staff,” said WC head coach Cory Bucur. “I hope to continue the strong tradition of Wilmington College men’s soccer for years and years to come, and I do think this is a great season to build off of.”

The Blue Streaks (15-4-1), who beat the Quakers 1-0 on an own goal in the final minutes during the regular season, win their fifth straight OAC Tournament and earn the league automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Tournament.

“The game definitely did not go our way tonight, but I am still incredibly proud of this group of young men,” Bucur said. “John Carroll was definitely the better side tonight and deserved this championship.”

Just like in Wilmington’s semifinal victory at Ohio Northern University, the Quakers played from behind as Logan Penton opened the scoring in the 10th minute by beating goalkeeper Thomas Grimes with a high shot. JCU, with a 12-2 shot advantage early, doubled its lead in the 20th minute as Ben Brucken scored off a pass from Nicholas Ruggiero.

The hosts looked to be entering the half with a two-goal lead, but one of the Quakers’ two aforementioned shots would cut the visitor’s deficit in half as sophomore Nick In’tZand scored his fourth goal in five games.

In the second half, JCU that made the most of its opportunities. After a pair of dangerous chances off corner kicks for the Quakers, the WC back line gave the ball away in its defensive third, and Patrick Koenig took advantage with a low shot that beat the outstretched arms of a diving Grimes.

The Blue Streaks scored the final goal of the game in the 71st minute as Jack Foht got in the scoring column off assists from both Nicholas Felician and Nicholas Graeca.