By Tim Glon
UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS — The fifth-seeded Ohio Northern men's soccer team played to a scoreless draw with top-seeded John Carroll for 110 minutes and were still even through the five regulation rounds of penalty kicks in the OAC Tournament finals on Saturday evening at Don Shula Stadium.
But the host Blue Streaks edged the Polar Bears 5-4 in the second extra round of penalty kicks to win the OAC Tournament title in seven rounds of PKs.
The match is recorded as a scoreless tie, with JCU advancing in the tournament 5-4 on penalty kicks.
Ohio Northern ends its season after its impressive OAC Tournament run as the No. 5 seed with a 13-7-2 overall record, while John Carroll wins the OAC's automatic bid to the NCAA III Tournament and moves to 13-4-2 on the season.
JCU evened the score at 2-2 after three periods and both teams missed in the fourth round.
Sophomore Jimmy Walkinshaw (Plymouth, Mich./Canton) scored in the fifth round, but JCU matched that goal to keep it even at 3-3 after the regulation five rounds.
In the first extra round, junior John Sternasty (Akron/Revere) scored to put ONU up 4-3, but again JCU scored to even the match at 4-4.
Northern missed in its seventh round attempt and JCU's Lawrence Cersosimo followed with the match winner for the Blue Streaks.
The Polar Bears out-shot the Blue Streaks 14-10 in regulation play and the two overtimes of the evenly played game.
In the second overtime, senior Dakota Swisher (Westlake) tested JCU keeper Liam McIntosh with a shot from just outside the box, but the JCU goalie made a nice save high on the near post to keep the score even.
McIntosh finished the game with eight saves for JCU.
Ohio Northern senior keeper William Velotta (Gates Mills/Gilmour Academy) was just as impressive, stopping all four of JCU's shots on goal.