By Blake Moore
UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio - The Ohio Northern men's soccer program dropped a highly-competitive 2-1 match to Ohio Athletic Conference foe John Carroll on the road Saturday evening at Don Shula Stadium in University Heights, Ohio.
With the loss, the Polar Bears move to 10-4-1 overall and 3-2-0 in league action this season. Meanwhile, John Carroll improves to 8-4-1 and 4-1-0 in conference play to climb past Northern in the league table.
Northern would have a strong start to the match, taking an early 1-0 advantage in the 18th minute when freshman Levi King (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central) found the back of the home side's net. The first-year midfielder would score his ninth goal in 2018 on a delivery from sophomore midfielder Jimmy Walkinshaw (Plymouth, Mich./Canton) and provide the Polar Bears their lone lead of the night.
John Carroll's Matt Nigro would take just six minutes to respond to the opening salvo as he provided an equalizer in the 24th minute on a header.
Moments later, JCU would earn a prime scoring opportunity after being awarded a penalty kick in the 31st minute. Blue Streaks' leading scorer Brian Lutz buried the ensuing kick, which would prove to be the game-winning goal as both sides would remain scoreless the rest of the evening.
King would pace the Polar Bear offense with six total shots in the match, accounting for over half of the attempts at goal. Senior midfielder Joseph Shulte (Copley) was next in line with two chances.
In net, freshman John Lombardo (Solon) recorded one save in the match while his record moved to 7-2-0 as a starting goalkeeper.
Despite the loss, the Polar Bears would manage an 11-8 total shots advantage, which included a slim 4-3 shots on goal margin. Northern would also tee up six corner kicks while John Carroll would earn just three opportunities.
Ohio Northern will return to action on Wednesday, October 17 as they host Heidelberg at Kerscher Stadium in Ada to open a brief two-match home stand. The Polar Bears will then conclude their regular season home slate with a visit from Capital next Saturday, October 20, which will serve as the program's Senior Night. Both matches are slated for 7 p.m. start times.