It wasn’t an easy first two years at Indiana University for Becca Candler.
The former Medina soccer standout battled numerous injuries, but the junior is now making up for lost time.
Candler dished out her ninth assist of the season Sunday, which helped teammate Abby Smith head in the game-winning goal as Indiana edged Michigan State 2-1 in overtime.
Making the feat even more special was that it gave the former All-Gazette selection the Indiana school record for assists in a season, surpassing the mark of eight set by three different players, the last in 1998.
Candler also has four assists in Big Ten play, which is tied for the most in a season by a Hoosier.
“Breaking the assist record is something I couldn’t have done without my amazing teammates and coaches throughout the years,” Candler said. “The most rewarding feeling for me in soccer is creating chances for my teammates. I love slotting the perfect ball in for the assist.”
It was a feeling Candler thought she would never have again after struggling through two sports hernias and two hip surgeries over her first two years on campus.
“I have been successful this year because I have regained confidence in my abilities, which I lost through my injuries,” she said. “The first goal I scored this season felt like a huge weight lifted off my chest, like I broke a curse.
“And I wouldn’t be where I am now without the patience, love and support of my family, friends and coaches.”
If fans around the country didn’t know Kyle Juszczyk (Cloverleaf), they do now. The Harvard tight end gained national attention after his 59-yard touchdown run vs. Bucknell made ESPN SportsCenter’s top-10 plays. Juszczyk broke three tackles and stiff-armed the final defender to find the end zone and earn the No. 3 spot on the list. He finished with a pair a catches for 79 yards in the Crimson’s 35-7 victory.
Wide receiver Steven Uhler (Brunswick) made two catches for 52 yards as Ohio Wesleyan remained atop the North Coast Athletic Conference standings with a 33-14 win over Kenyon. The Battling Bishops, under the direction of Cloverleaf graduate Tom Watts, are currently 6-0.
Linebacker Adam Cepik (Cloverleaf) continues to have a monster season for undefeated Heidelberg. The junior had eight tackles and hit the quarterback once in a 21-0 win over Otterbein.
Taylor junior Luke Currens (Wadsworth) got his first interception of the year and ran it back for a 74-yard touchdown in a 34-7 triumph over Concordia (Mich.).
Richard Sumlin (Medina) had two tackles, which included a sack, but Findlay lost 63-31 to Ohio Dominican.
Junior defensive back Heath Eby (Cloverleaf) had seven tackles as Wittenberg crushed Chicago 41-17.
Carlton Watkins (Buckeye) had four stops as Tiffin edged Notre Dame 27-22.
Walsh’s Anthony Schrock (Wadsworth) had a pair of receptions for 21 yards in a 30-0 loss to Ashland.
Goalkeeper Carl Contrascier (Highland) combined with Geoff Bloom to stop eight shots as John Carroll beat Muskingum 3-0 to remain unbeaten in Ohio Athletic Conference play. The senior has started eight games in goal, posting a 1.04 goals-against average and four shutouts.
Justin Nolan (Highland) recorded six saves, but it wasn’t enough as Ashland fell 1-0 to Saginaw Valley State.
Ohio Northern’s Chris Matejka (Cloverleaf) dished out an assist off a free kick as Ohio Northern beat Marietta 3-0 for its fifth shutout in a row.
Jessie Gearhart (Wadsworth) netted the game-winning goal as Walsh downed Ceaderville 1-0. The freshman also had an assist later in the week as the Cavaliers downed Malone 3-1.
Ashland junior Melissa Hill (Medina) scored a late goal to put the finishing touches on a 3-0 win over Northern Michigan.
Florida goalkeeper Taylor Burke (Medina) had three saves in the No. 12 Gators’ 2-1 win over No. 14 Missouri. Later in the week, she needed just one stop in a 4-1 triumph over Mississippi State.
Right wing Aly Rice (Cloverleaf) and center midfielder Jackie Lowdermilk (Wadsworth) played pivotal roles as Mount Union beat defending OAC champion Capital.
Mount Union notched its 18th win of the season with a three-game sweep of Capital. Sophomore Sarah Schleich (Cloverleaf) had 20 assists, while Dee Glass (Medina) posted five blocks.
Kaitlyn Witsaman (Medina) and Leslie Giordon (Medina) helped Fairmont State up its win streak to 11 with victories over Notre Dame and Ursuline. Witsaman smashed 13 kills against NDU, while Giordon had four blocks in the victory over Ursuline.
Kristen Bennett (Wadsworth) had 10 kills as Otterbein won a five-set thriller over Heidelberg in OAC play.
Ashland’s Jacob Sussman (Wadsworth) took third as the Eagles won the Wilmington Invitational. The junior clocked a 24:57.28. Sophomore Anna Mion (Medina resident/St. Vincent-St. Mary) led Ashland’s women to the title in 18:40.20.
Donny Roys (Medina) recorded a personal-record time of 24:02 for a 53rd-place showing for Ohio State at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational.
Freshman Selena Pasadyn (Brunswick) crossed the finish line in 30th place in 22:25 to lead Harvard at the Princeton Invitational.
Bowling Green’s Joe vanBolderen (Buckeye) ran a 26:42 to finished 98th at the Bradley Classic.
Ashley Berlin (Wadsworth) and Amanda Kalain (Cloverleaf) had PRs as Cleveland State competed in the Wilmington Fall Classic. Berlin finished the course in 21:57.12, while Kalain came in at 22:10.
Kent State sophomore Russell McCune (Wadsworth) finished in 144th in 26:10 at the NCAA Pre-National meet.
Junior Evan McKee (Medina) ran a 26:26.90 for Ohio Northern at the OW-Oshkosh Brooks Invitational.
Ohio Wesleyan’s Tyler Tomazic (Medina resident/St. Vincent-St. Mary) finished 74th in 25:46.8 at the Oberlin Interregional Rumble. Senior Ryan Fallow (Medina) was 250th in 29:08.50 for Baldwin-Wallace.
UNC Asheville’s Kevin Paradise (Medina) was 152nd at the Pre-National Meet at the University of Louisville after crossing the line in 26:14.1.
Ryan Rao (Medina) recorded a top-10 finish for Notre Dame College at the Mercyhurst Fall Invitational. The junior shots rounds of 72 and 75 as the Falcons finished sixth.
Contact Dan Brown at email@example.com.