By Tim Glon
UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS — The Ohio Northern men's lacrosse team ended its regular season with an 18-10 loss at John Carroll on Saturday night at Don Shula Stadium.
The Polar Bears fall to 12-4 overall and are 6-3 in the Ohio Athletic Conference, while the Blue Streaks improve to 10-6, 6-3.
Ohio Northern clinches the No. 4 seed in next week's 4-team OAC Tournament as a result of Baldwin Wallace's 17-15 victory over Otterbein.
ONU will travel to Capital to face the top-seeded Crusaders in the semifinals on Tuesday at 7 pm.
John Carroll will be the No. 3 seed and will play at Baldwin Wallace in the other semifinal game on Wednesday.
Sophomore Joe O'Connell (Fishers, Ind.) had his second career hat trick to lead Ohio Northern.
JCU jumped to a quick 4-0 lead in the first 8:40 of the game.
The Blue Streaks finished the half on a 6-0 run to lead 10-4 at intermission.
O'Connell got ONU within 10-5 just 1:09 into the third quarter.
JCU then put the game away with five goals in a 4:18 span to lead 15-5 with 5:25 left in the period.
Trailing 17-5, ONU rallied with three goals in 2:21 to get within 17-8 in the fourth quarter.
Senior Anthony Pavone (Bainbridge/Kenston) scored with 8:22 left in the game, O'Connell completed his hat trick with a goal at the 6:38 mark and senior Max Weese (Hilliard/Darby) made it 17-8 with a goal just 37 seconds later.
The Polar Bears kept playing hard to the finish as Weese and senior Mitch Groves (Fishers, Ind./Chatard) wrapped up the scoring with goals in the final minute of play.
John Carroll out shot Ohio Northern 44-37 and had 35 ground balls to 27 for ONU.
Senior Alex Pizarro (Boonsboro, Md.) had 10 saves in goal.