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July 7, 2020

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Ross records hat trick as No. 7 Men's Soccer wins second consecutive OAC Regular Season Championship

By Jake Schwerer

Freshman Keegan Ross notched his first career hat trick to lift the No. 7 Ohio Northern men's soccer team to its second straight OAC Regular Season Championship as they defeated Wilmington by a 3-1 score.

With the win the Polar Bears improve to 17-2 overall and remain perfect with an 8-0 mark in the OAC.

The Quakers fall to 10-6-1 overall and 5-2-1 in the OAC.

A couple records were broken by Ohio Northern in game.

Senior goalkeeper Mac Church became the all-time leader in minutes played in the OAC, and Ohio Northern now holds the record for most consecutive OAC wins with 19.

In addition, the nine seniors on the squad also end their career having never lost an OAC Regular Season home game.

The scoring started in the 26th minute when Wilmington sophomore Taylor Estes took a pass from freshman Marcus Thorbjornsson and put it in the net.

This goal was the first goal given up by the Polar Bears in OAC play, and snapped a defensive scoreless streak of 700 minutes and 25 seconds.

Ohio Northern responded in the 35th when senior Nate Bascom passed the ball to Ross whose high shot hit the crossbar and fell into the net.

After coming out of a 1-1 halftime tie, it was all Ross for the rest of the game as senior Craig Sumner tossed a long throw-in and Ross fired the ball over the goalie's head in the 64th minute.

Then in the 88th minute Ross scored his 14th goal of the season has he took the ball and beat the keeper to the left.

"It was huge for us to tie the game before halftime, and we came out and played a much better second half," said head coach Brent Ridenour. "Keegan played great for us all game. Wilmington is a very good team and we will probably see them again in the OAC tournament."

Church made one save in the game and improved to 17-2 on the season, while Quaker junior goalie Antonio Trujillo made six saves but falls to 8-5 on the season.

Ohio Northern took 16 shots with nine of them being on goal, while the Wilmington took only six shots with two of them being on goal.

The Polar Bears will be back in action again on Saturday when they travel to New Concord to take on Muskingum and wrap up the OAC regular season at 7 pm.

The win also clinched the top seed for Northern in the OAC Tournament. ONU will host a semifinal game at 2 pm on November 1.