Klusek and Merrick goals lift No. 11 Ohio Northern to 2-1 victory at John Carroll
UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS —Under the Friday evening lights, the No. 11 Polar Bears picked up a hard-fought 2-1 win against John Carroll in an Ohio Athletic Conference bout at Don Shula Stadium.
Ohio Northern remains unbeaten through 13 games, moves to 13-1-2 overall and remains undefeated in the OAC with a 7-0 record. The Blue Streaks fall to 11-6 overall and 5-2 in the conference.
The first half was scoreless, despite Northern having a 9-5 shot advantage and all of ONU's attempts on goal.
It was in the 54th minute when freshman Kristina Klusek dribbled to deep in the left corner of JCU territory and shot a long ball into the right side of the net.
The goal was Klusek's team- and league-leading 11th of the season.
Less than 10 minutes later, senior Alyssa Merrick finished off passes from sophomores Abbie Schauble and Sami Atkinson to put the Polar Bears up 2-0.
With the score, Merrick recorded her fifth goal of the season, while both Schauble and Atkinson notched their fourth assist.
John Carroll kept fighting, firing off shots but unable to get it past ONU keeper Erin Waehner.
The Blue Streaks' persistence paided of in the 78th minute when Genny Goergen found the ball amid congestion to blast it in for a goal and inch closer to Northern's lead.
Northern would hold on through a long 12 minutes for the eventual win.
JCU ended the match with a 19-15 shot advantage, while ONU had the advantage in shots-on-goal.
Waehner would earn the win and allowed her first goal in five games. She also recorded 11 saves.
"We battled against a very good team tonight; it was a pretty even match on both sides," head coach Mark Batman remarked. "We were just fortunate to take advantage of some opportunities at the right time and get the win."
The Polar Bears are in the final swing of the regular season and is back on the field Wednesday, hosting Heidelberg at 4 p.m.