The Wolverines held to a familiar pattern this year playing an in division rival to a one goal game. Grove City split their first two division games of the season, holding on to beat Carnegie Mellon 9-8 at home and losing to Walsh University in double overtime. To heighten the importance of the game, both teams saw it as a must win scenario. A Grove City loss would effectively end their chances of postseason play and clinch a birth for John Carroll in the CCLA play-offs. A win for Grove City would keep its destiny in its own hands and set up a showdown with #6 Dayton on Saturday. For the second time in three games, the Wolverines overcame a slow start to rally for four 4th quarter goals and score the game winning goal with less than a minute remaining. Once again it was Althausen and Irwin combining for the last second heroics, this time with Althausen recording the assist and Irwin firing home for the victory. The win pushed Grove City’s record to 7-4 and guaranteed a winning record for the Wolverines this season. It also maintained the Wolverines undefeated record at home, extending their streak to 4-0.
The game started well for the Wolverines who possessed the ball well and were able to generate good shots, but they would concede the first goal and faced an early 1-0 deficit. The defense settled down and would not allow John Carroll to score again until the 4th quarter. Sophomore attackman Ryan Cypher evened the score at one with a nice inside finish, and the teams would take a 1-1 deadlock into halftime. After a scoreless third quarter, John Carroll took advantage of a slashing penalty to go back up by one within the first minute of the last quarter, but the Wolverines would respond with three straight goals, two by junior midfielder Andrew Williams and one from sophomore midfielder Ryan Althausen to put the score at 4-2. A rare defensive miscue allowed the Blue Streaks to narrow the gap to one, and a fast-break moments later evened the score with 2:40 left on the clock. With 30 seconds left Althausen took a dodge, moved the ball backside to Irwin for a re-dodge and Irwin made his opportunity count, ripping the ball past goalie Mike Burgos (19 saves, .792%) who was largely responsible for keeping the Wolverines offense at bay. Senior captains Jordan Markley and Bill Sigmund, along with freshman Ryan Colby, did a remarkable job on the defensive end frustrating the Blue Streak’s attack all night never letting them settle into a rhythm. Sophomore goalie Chris Dymski came up big in goal making 12 saves (.750%) to hold John Carroll to their lowest goal total on the season. In his first full season as a starter, Dymski is yielding a paltry 5.909 goals against average and boasts a .677% save percentage on the year. Only one year removed from their disappointing 3-7 finish last season, the resilient team effort gives the Wolverines a chance to close out the season with a shot at the division title with a win over Dayton on Saturday.