As it has done in every postseason match it has played, the Capital University women's soccer team found an early goal and held strong in the defensive third in the second half to defeat No. 14 Thomas More (Ky.) 2-1 in an NCAA Division III Tournament sectional semifinal match at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.
The Crusaders (19-4-1 overall) move on to face the nation's No. 1 team and sectional host, Washington University, in a national quarterfinal match Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Eastern (1:30 p.m. Central).
"I'm very excited about continuing our journey," Capital coach Chris Kouns said. "We've talked all year about how we have an opportunity for greatness … all we have to do is be the best team on the day we play each match. There's a belief among all our players that we'll find a way to do it."
Freshman forward Monique Hanayik (Sidney, Ohio) scored what proved to be the game-winning goal, striking a shot inside the opposite post in the 76th minute to give Capital a 2-0 lead. Sophomore midfielder Allison Mervau(Micanopy, Fla.) recorded the assist on Hanayik's fourth tally of the season.
Capital, which has already advanced further than the program ever has and set a school record for wins in last Sunday's second round match, allowed its first goal of the postseason on a penalty kick in the 78th minute but held the rest of the way to preserve the victory.
"Thomas More came at us with a lot of pressure," Kouns said. "We knew we had to keep moving our defensive formation, and I think that weathered the pressure."
Senior defender Lauren Roy (Toledo, Ohio) provided the first goal in the 30th minute.
Freshman midfielder Claire Quinn (Coto de Caza, Calif.) started the play with a corner kick. After a header by senior defender Corey McClellan(Columbus, Ohio) was blocked by a Thomas More defender, Roy picked up the loose ball and placed it into the back of the net.
It was Roy's second goal of the season, and the biggest of her career.
"As the moment showed, it doesn't matter who we're playing," Kouns said. "This group is dedicated to executing our set pieces, and those win championships."
The Saints (19-2-2) applied pressure early in the second half, taking three corner kicks in the first 10 minutes of the period. But the Crusaders, led by senior goalkeeper Maggie Donnellan (Cincinnati, Ohio), refused to allow Thomas More to sustain momentum.....
vs. Washington University - St. Louis
ST. LOUIS – Behind a stellar effort from senior goalkeeper Maggie Donnellan and a clutch, game-tying goal by freshman midfielder Claire Quinn, the Capital University women's soccer team will make its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament semifinals after defeating top-ranked Washington (Mo.) on penalty kicks in an NCAA sectional final Sunday at Washington University.
After the game ended in a 1-1 tie following 90 minutes of regulation and two overtimes, the Crusaders (19-4-2 overall) won 3-2 on penalty kicks to advance to become one of four teams in the nation still playing.
"We feel like on any given day, if we play and fight hard enough, and we're dedicated to do it as a team, we can be successful," Capital coach Chris Kouns said. "We know player for player, Washington is better, and if we played them 10 times, they might beat us nine times.
"We wanted to break up the game into 10-minute segments … if we could continue to play that way, the pressure would turn to Washington. For us, it was a matter of sticking to the game plan and getting things done, and we did."
Capital will take on No. 3 William Smith (N.Y.) quarterfinal match on Friday, Dec. 6, at Toyota Field in San Antonio, Texas.
The Crusaders made three of their four penalty kicks, while Donnellan (Cincinnati, Ohio) saved the Bears' first two attempts. After giving Capital a 3-2 lead in the session with her own PK conversion, Donnellan stopped Washington's final attempt, sending the Crusaders and their supporters in attendance into frenzy.
"Maggie was absolutely amazing," Kouns said. "For three years, her development working with goalkeeper coach Andrea Kaminski has been absolutely terrific. We didn't originally have her scheduled to take a PK if we got there, but with the way she was playing, there's no doubt we wanted her out there. And she ended up winning it."
Freshman midfielder Becca Cartmill (Temecula, Calif.) and senior defender Michelle Geiger (Cincinnati, Ohio) converted the other two penalty kicks for Capital.
The Bears (20-1-1) tallied the match's first goal in the sixth minute off a loose ball in the box as the shot skimmed off of the bottom of the crossbar and over the goal line. It was the first goal surrendered by the Crusaders in the flow of play during the postseason. Capital last allowed a non-penalty kick goal on Oct. 30 at Muskingum.
Trailing 1-0 at the half, the Crusaders came out aggressively in the second, posting three corner kicks in the first 15 minutes of the period.
Capital's strong offensive push paid off in the 67th minute, Quinn took a free kick and placed it just inside the far post off a set piece. Quinn's second goal of the year leveled the match.
"About 20 minutes into the second half, we decided to push forward, and we were fortunate enough to put Washington on its heels for about five minutes," Kouns said. "Claire's strike was absolutely beautiful."
Donnellan came up with three huge saves in the final 15 minutes of regulation to help preserve the tie. She finished with a career-high 18 saves as the Crusaders were outshot 38-8 in the contest. Capital outshot Washington 3-1 in the two overtimes combined.
The Crusaders, unranked entering postseason play, knocked off three straight ranked opponents en route to the national semifinals.
Check back early this week for more coverage on Capital's dream postseason run and NCAA Tournament semifinal berth.
With history having already been made this past weekend, the Capital University women's soccer team looks to take another historical step in program history, as they travel to St. Louis, Mo., this weekend to face Thomas More (Ky.) in the round of 16 of the NCAA Division III Tournament.
The round of 16 match will take place this Saturday, Nov. 23, at 1:30 p.m. (2:30 p.m. Eastern). No. 1 nationally ranked Washington University (Mo.) will be the host site the for the third round and quarterfinals matches.
Capital (18-4-1) comes into Saturday's match on an eight game win streak, having recorded a new single-season team record in wins in a 1-0 victory over the University of Wisconsin Whitewater in the round of 32 this past Sunday night.
In addition, the Crusaders made program history in the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years, having advanced to the round of 16, a step the program had never gotten to up until Sunday.
As for their opponent, Thomas More (19-1-2), comes into the game on an 18-match unbeaten streak, having suffered its only loss of the season on Sept. 11 at home in a 2-1 double overtime defeat to Capital.
Since that setback, the Saints have won 16 of their last 18 games en route to a No. 14 national ranking.
The Crusaders, who earned back-to-back 1-0 victories in the opening two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, enter the round of 16 having shutout their opponent in five straight matches, winning by a combined 8-0 margin.
In the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, the Crusaders traveled to Whitewater, Wis., to take on the University of Chicago in an evening affair at host Whitewater.
The score was no ordinary one though, as Quinn's textbook corner kick was driven down in a scrum of Crusaders in the box, where Richards came up with and snuck the ball into the net just outside the goal line in the box.
In total, Chicago outshot Capital 22-7, but the Crusaders came up with the all-important shot for goal.
Then in the round of 32, the Crusaders defeated unbeaten and No. 16 nationally ranked University of Wisconsin Whitewater, 1-0.
Originally, the Warhawks were set to host the Crusaders on day two of the opening two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, but following severe weather conditions that swept across the Midwest, the game was forced to move northeast, away from the torrential rain and storms.
In the 43rd minute, Richards, who scored the game winning goal in round one on Saturday night, found a ball from senior Michelle Geiger and tapped it into the back of the net for the score.
As the second half progressed and the clock winded down to zero, the Crusaders stormed the field in elation after advancing and recording the program's best win total, trumping the previous record (17) set back in 1998.
Leading the way this season for Capital has been a pair of seniors in goalkeeper Maggie Donnellan (Cincinnati, Ohio) and forward Hilary Ells(Grandview Heights, Ohio).
Donnellan, who earned her third consecutive Ohio Athletic Conference Goalkeeper of the Year award, has started all 23 games in net for the Crusaders, en route to the best save percentage in the OAC (.872), while also placing in the top five in the OAC in goals against (17), goals-against average (0.76), and saves (116).
In her last five starts, Donnellan has posted a shutout win in each of them, including back-to-back shutout victories in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
Ells, the 2013 OAC Forward of the Year, tops the conference in points (28) and goals (14), having played a key role during the Crusaders' entire 2013 campaign, including six goals throughout Capital's eight game win streak.
Freshman Becca Cartmill (Temecula, Calif.) and sophomore Jamie Murray (Micanopy, Fla.) have also helped bolster Capital's offensive attack, as Cartmill tops the OAC in assists (10) and is tied for eighth in the OAC in points (18), while Murray places in the top seven in the conference in both points (19) and goals (8).
Seven other players have at least five points this season, while the top offensive performers for Capital in the NCAA Tournament, startersMaura Fortino (Philadelphia, Pa.), Richards and Claire Quinn (Coto de Caza, Calif.), have tallied a combined 18 points on the year.
Defensively, the Crusaders have been stellar all season, as their veteran backline of midfielders and defenders have helped anchor the defensive front in front of Donnellan.
Geiger (Norwood, Ohio), Corey McClellan (Columbus, Ohio) and Lauren Roy (Toledo, Ohio), as well as Richards, have played key roles in allowing a miniscule 11.3 shots per game, on a 0.66 shot percentage, to their opponents this season.
Thomas More, winner of the Presidents' Athletic Conference Tournament, comes into the round of 16 having defeated Allegheny (Pa.) in round one of the NCAA Tournament (2-1), while also taking down Hanover (Ind.) in the round of 32 (1-0) this past weekend.
This season, the Saints have played six opponents that the Crusaders have also faced, including defeats of four OAC teams in John Carroll (5-0), Otterbein (2-0), Ohio Northern (2-0) and Marietta (5-0).
Similarly, Capital went a combined 6-2, including the OAC Tournament, against the same six opponents that Thomas More faced.
The Saints are led offensively by sophomore Olivia Huber, who tops the team in points (52), while placing in the top 15 in the country in goals (22), and tying for the team lead in assists (8).
Senior Courtney Clark follows with 36 points on 14 goals and eight assists, while seven other players for the Saints have at least eight points on the year, including three players with at least 12.
Freshman goalkeeper Megan Barton has started 17 of the 20 games that she appeared in goal, posting a 0.31 goals-against average, .853 save percentage, en route to a 17-0 record in the net, including eight shutouts.
The winner of this coming Saturday's round of 16 match will face the Washington-Puget Sound (Wash.) winner in the quarterfinals on Sunday, Nov. 24, at 1:30 p.m. (2:30 p.m. Eastern).
WHITEWATER, Wisconsin – A double overtime thriller for the Capital University women's soccer team, as they defeated the University of Chicago, 1-0, in double overtime in round one of the NCAA Division III women's soccer tournament.
The score was no ordinary one though, as Quinn's textbook corner kick was driven down in a scrum of Crusaders in the box, to which Richards came up with and sneaked the ball into the net just outside the goal line in the box.
"Very exciting to see Claire (Quinn) and Mariah (Richards) connect on that corner kick," said head coach Chris Kouns.
The lone goal of the match came after over 100 minutes passed, to which neither team managed to get a clean shot on goal, leading to 12 minutes of extra time.
"We're extremely excited to advance to the round of 32," Kouns said. "We've talked all year about how greatness awaits, and we have an opportunity to do something special tomorrow should we win and notch another school record in advancing again in the NCAA Tournament."
As the game progressed in the first half of play, both teams exerted a very physical style of play, to which the referees controlled by issuing a combined 16 fouls between Capital and Chicago in the opening frame.
"I was very pleased with the defensive effort tonight," Kouns said. "In the midst of gusty winds, I thought the first half was played well in keeping the ball on the ground and neutralizing Chicago's success in handling the ball."
The Maroons managed to unload 17 total shots in the first half, four of them coming on goal, while the Crusaders tallied six total shots in the opening half.
"When we switched sides after halftime, we lost a bit of our focus playing with the wind," Kouns said. "That was disappointing not being able to put the game away in the second half, but once again, a testament to this team's resilience, as we went against the wind again in overtime, maintaining strong composure, keeping the ball in front of us, finding a way to win."
In total, Chicago outshot Capital, 22 to seven, but the Crusaders came up with the all-important shot for goal, extending their win streak to seven, dating back to Oct. 22.
Leading the way for the Crusaders was Richards, scoring her second goal of the year, while Quinn picked up her third assist on the season.
Senior goalkeeper Maggie Donnellan saved all seven shots on goal that she faced, locking down Capital's goal for the fourth straight game.
"We've been keying in on what it means to play focused throughout championships and tournaments," Kouns said. "And that's what we did here tonight."
With the win, the Capital (17-4-1) advances to the second round of the NCAA Division III women's soccer Tournament, taking on the host, and No. 16 nationally ranked, University of Wisconsin Whitewater on Sunday at 5 p.m.
"A quick turnaround tomorrow as we face a very good Whitewater team," Kouns said. "Once again, we will do our best to put on another show like we did tonight."
vs. University of Wisconsin- Whitewater
MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin - The Capital University women's soccer team advanced to the round of 16 in the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time in the program's history on Sunday night, defeating unbeaten and No. 16 nationally ranked University of Wisconsin Whitewater, 1-0.
Originally, the Warhawks were set to host the Crusaders on day two of the opening two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, but following severe weather conditions that swept across the Midwest, the game was forced to move north away from the torrential rain and storms. Both teams traveled just over an hour to the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee to fit the game in on Sunday night, pushing the originally scheduled game time back two and a half hours to 7:30 p.m. "We honestly came out with the same game plan that we had against Chicago on Saturday," said head coach Chris Kouns. "Our team played scrappy and really stymied Whitewater's attack." In the first half of play, both Capital and Wisconsin Whitewater struggled to get much going offensively, as nearly every ball driven in the air was caught up in the gusty winds. However in the 43rd minute, sophomore Mariah Richards, who scored the game winning goal in round one on Saturdaynight, found a ball from sophomoreMaura Fortino and tapped it into the back of the net for the score. "Once again, another set piece, something we have been working on," Kouns said. "For the second game in a row, Mariah (Richards) came up with the game winning goal for us." Perhaps the best opportunity for the Warhawks came midway through the opening frame, as they had three shots on the ground within five feet of the net, to which senior goalkeeper Maggie Donnellan denied each one. "We didn't have a great first half," Kouns said. "But players such as Maura (Fortino), Mariah (Richards), and Jamie (Murray) helped us stick to our game I'm the opening half." Richards' goal proved the be highlight of the first half for the Crusaders, as they took a 1-0 lead into halftime. "Scoring a goal in the first half and having the lead helps you heading into the next half, too," Kouns said. "Then you know that you have a little momentum as a team." As the second half of play progressed, both teams battled for position and ball control, as the Warhawks were trying to even the score, whereas the Crusaders were trying to pad their lead with another goal. Neither team could manufacture a clean look on breakaway passing, as once again Capital's back line displayed superb defending throughout the match. With under 15 minutes left in the game, the sense of urgency was apparent for the Warhawks, as their 21 game unbeaten streak was beginning to topple for the first time this season. Then as the game clock winded down to zero, the Crusaders stormed the field in elation after advancing, 1-0, and recording the program's best win total (18), trumping the previous record (17) set back in 1998. Leading the way for the Crusaders was Richards, netting her third goal of the season and second in as many NCAA Tournament games. Donnellan recorded her fifth consecutive shutout, improving her record in goal to 18-4-1 on the year, while stopping all six shots on goal that she faced. Fortino also tallied her third assist on the lone goal of the match. "I'm just so proud and excited for this group," Kouns said. "I could go on and on about each player tonight, because they all played that well. We have an opportunity to once again go one step further." With the win, Capital (18-4-1) moves on to face a familiar opponent from earlier in the season in No. 14 nationally ranked Thomas More (Ky.), playing in the round of 16 hosted by Washington University (Mo.). Capital handed Thomas More (17-1-2) its lone loss of the season on Sept. 11 at the Saints' home field, winning 2-1 in double overtime. At the time, the Saints were ranked No. 14 in the nation. "We're certainly familiar with Thomas More," Kouns said. "We know that we can match up and compete with them. But, at the NCAA Tournament level it's going to be a different level of competition, so we are excited for the challenge."
Women’s Soccer to Play University of Chicago in NCAA First Round
The Capital University women's soccer team will head to the University of Wisconsin Whitewater this weekend to face the University of Chicago in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Division III Tournament.
The match will take place this Friday, Nov. 15, at a time yet to be determined. The winner of the Capital-Chicago match will take on the winner of Wisconsin-Whitewater and St. Scholastica (Minn.) in the second round.
The Crusaders (16-4-1 overall) wrapped up the Ohio Athletic Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and their fifth-ever bid to the NCAAs by winning their second OAC Tournament title in the last three years. Capital defeated John Carroll 4-0 in Sunday's championship match.
Chicago (11-4-3), a member of the University Athletic Association (UAA), received a Pool C, or at-large, bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Maroons saw their five-match unbeaten streak end with a 2-0 setback at No. 1 Washington (Mo.) University on Saturday in the team's regular season finale.
Chicago was receiving votes in the most recent NSCAA Division III Top 25 poll and was ranked fifth in the Central Region in the NCAA's latest regional rankings.
The Crusaders, who were ranked fifth in the Great Lakes Region, earned the program's first OAC regular season championship since 2004 by virtue of a 7-2 regular season league record, sharing the title with John Carroll. Capital garnered the No. 1 seed and home field advantage in the conference tournament by virtue of its victory over the Blue Streaks during the regular season.
After starting the regular season with a loss against then-No. 5 Carnegie Mellon and a tie at 2012 NCAA qualifier Penn State-Behrend, the Crusaders rattled off nine wins in their next 10 matches, including a 2-1 triumph in two overtimes at then-No. 14 Thomas More (Ky.) and 2-0 victory over co-champion John Carroll on Oct. 5. The team's only loss in that stretch came against Hanover, which enters the NCAA Tournament as the region's top-ranked team.
Following a 1-2 road trip, Capital won four straight to close the regular season, taking down cross-town rival Otterbein 1-0 in the finale on Nov. 2 to clinch their share of the championship.
After earning a bye to the OAC Tournament semifinals, the Crusaders knocked off the Cardinals again by an identical 1-0 score Thursday at Bernlohr Stadium. Senior midfielder Livvy Hein (Worthington, Ohio) provided the game-winning tally in the 15th minute, volleying a bouncing ball out of the air and into the side of the far post.
Capital finished its championship run Sunday against John Carroll, scoring twice in the first 17 minutes of play and adding a pair of insurance goals in the last 10 minutes of the match. Senior forward Hilary Ells (Grandview Heights, Ohio) made a great move to the inside off a throw-in from Hein in the fifth minute and finished at the near post for what proved to be the game-winner. Senior defender Lauren Roy (Toledo, Ohio), sophomore midfielder Allison Mervau (Micanopy, Fla.) and senior midfielder Katie Freshour (North Canton, Ohio) also added goals in the contest.
Sunday's win was also Capital's 11th shutout of the season and the sixth solo shutout for senior goalkeeper Maggie Donnellan (Cincinnati, Ohio).
Ells leads the team and the OAC with 14 goals, including six game-winners, and 28 points entering NCAA play. Freshman midfielder Becca Cartmill (Temecula, Calif.), who assisted on Roy's goal Sunday, leads the team and the league with 10 assists, a mark that also puts her among the nation's top 30, according to the latest national statistical rankings.
Sophomore forward Jamie Murray (West Palm Beach, Fla.) ranks second on the team with 20 points (eight goals, four assists), followed by Cartmill, who has three game-winning goals, with 18.
Mervau and Hein each have nine points for the season, while freshman midfielder Monique Hanayik (Sidney, Ohio) has seven. All three enter the NCAA Tournament with one game-winning goal.
Four other players on the team have between four and six points, including hard-working midfield starters Maura Fortino (Philadelphia, Pa.) andClaire Quinn (Coto de Caza, Calif.). Quinn has one game-winning goal, while Fortino converted a penalty kick goal during the regular season.
Donnellan, who has a 16-4-1 record with a 0.83 goals against average and a .858 save percentage, is protected by a veteran defensive line. Roy, seniors Michelle Geiger (Norwood, Ohio), Corey McClellan (Columbus, Ohio) and sophomore Mariah Richards (Canton, Ohio) have combined to miss just three matches this season as the starting back line.
Chicago is led offensively by Sara Kwan (24 points), Natalia Jovanovic (20) and Micaela harms (19). Goalkeeper Jacinda Reid, who has played in 11 matches and has a 5-3-3 record, leads the UAA with 5.91 saves per contest.
Capital and Chicago share one common opponent – Carnegie Mellon (Pa.). The Crusaders fell 3-2 against the Tartans back on Aug. 31 at Penn State Behrend, while the Maroons tied Carnegie Mellon 0-0 in two overtimes on the road.
We wrapped up OAC play at Bernlohr Stadium yesterday against John Carroll. Game resulted in a 4-0 win and the OAC Tournament title! Along with the tournament title comes an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament! This team is the first since 1999 to win both the regular season and tournament championships in the same year. It is also the 2nd time in 3 years that this team has made it to the NCAA tournament! Big accomplishments and a great core of seniors to help us along the way! For more information check out the story...
COLUMBUS – The Capital University women's soccer team has clinched an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament, following a 4-0 defeat of John Carroll, in the team's second Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament championship in the past three seasons.
"I thought the difference today was our ability to keep the ball and make John Carroll chase the game," said head coach Chris Kouns. "Ultimately, our movement off the ball set up some great attacking opportunities and we were focused on not letting those slip away."
Senior Hilary Ells inked the scoreboard first in the fifth minute for the Crusaders, following a throw-in assist by senior Livvy Hein, to which Ells dribbled the ball a short distance before striking it in for an early 1-0 lead.
"Hilary Ells' goal early in the game set the tone for us in terms of being relentless in the final third," Kouns said.
Then in the 17th minute of play, freshman Becca Cartmill extended her OAC assists lead on a pass to senior Lauren Roy, who doubled the Crusaders lead to 2-0.
As the first half came to a close, the Crusaders cruised into halftime with a 2-0 lead, holding the Blue Streaks to just three shots total.
In the second half of play, 35 minutes passed before Capital extended its lead to 3-0, on an assist inside the box from senior Alyssa Goodnightto sophomore Allison Mervau, who rebounded a loose ball off the Blue Streaks' goalkeeper, tapping the ball in for the score.
Just three minutes later, the Crusaders played add-on once again, tallying their fourth goal of the match in the 83rd minute, following seniorKatie Freshour collecting a loose ball in the box on the corner kick, extending the lead, 4-0.
"I felt Hilary Ells' goal early in the game set the tone for us in terms of being relentless in the final third," Kouns said. "That was also really clear in the third goal where Alyssa Goodnight took off on a great attack into the final third finding Allison Mervau for the goal."
In total, the Blue Streaks managed to unload a respectable 11 shots, four of them coming on goal, while the Crusaders tallied 11 of their 14 shots on goal.
"I am so incredibly proud of the show that these young women put on today," Kouns said. "From our training and video session yesterday, I knew we had an attacking game plan that would work and they made no doubt about it from the opening kickoff that they were here to execute and win. It is a great testament to the dedication level of the players in the program that they came out and showed what a championship caliber program is capable of doing."
With the win, Capital has now earned its second OAC Tournament championship in the past three seasons.
"This win says the world about the character of these student-athletes," Kouns said. "Every single player on the bench or on the field was focused on achieving this goal and we did just that in a complete team effort."
Leading the way for the Crusaders was senior goalkeeper Maggie Donnellan, saving six shots on goal from a total of 11 shots faced throughout the game.
Ells netted her 14th goal of the season, while Hein picked up her fifth assist on the year on the score.
Roy scored her first goal of the season, as Cartmill tallied her 10th assist of the season.
Mervau recorded her third goal of the year, while Goodnight notched her second assist.
Freshour also chipped in a late unassisted goal, her second of the season.
With the win, Capital (16-4-1) has received an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament, beginning on Nov. 15.
"Our team is really looking forward to our second trip in the last three years to the 'Big Dance'," Kouns said. "Last time around we were given a tremendous opportunity to advance after defeating Alma (Mich.), playing Wheaton (Ill.), in the round-of-32, and they showed us what a top flight caliber team looks like. I am hopeful that we will be able to build from that experience, playing up to our full potential and working to take one more step further than we did the last time around."
Be sure to stay up-to-date at athletics.capital.edu for the most recent information regarding the team's first round opponent and location.
COLUMBUS – The Capital University women's soccer captured the 2013 Ohio Athletic Conference title, winning 1-0 against Otterbein on Saturday afternoon.
Saturday's game also marked the women's soccer team's Class of 2014 senior day at Bernlohr Stadium.
"I am especially proud of the team spirit of this group," said head coach Chris Kouns. "When we found out we were playing for the OAC Championship the entire team was focused on doing what was necessary to help achieve this team goal. It is always gratifying when you see a team come together with the overall success in mind over individual priorities and as a result this team was able to give our senior class their second OAC Championship in the past three years. This honor puts their class in rare company and it is a legacy that no one can take away from them."
A scoreless 43 minutes passed before freshman Claire Quinn tallied the lone goal of the match on a shot that was struck into the back of the net, giving Capital a 1-0 advantage heading into halftime.
As the second half of play unfolded, an aggressive attack on both sides of the field was the source of a miniscule amount of nine total shots combined in the second half.
The Cardinals managed to attempt a few attempts on goal in the final half, but to no avail, as senior goalkeeper Maggie Donnellan locked down the net for the Crusaders throughout the entire match.
In total, Capital managed to manufacture three of its seven shots on goal, while Otterbein tallied seven of its eight shots on goal.
Leading the way for the Crusaders was Quinn, who recorded her first goal of the season, while Donnellan saved all seven shots on goal that she faced.
"Individually, I was really excited to see such a tremendous goal end up being the difference maker," Kouns said. "Claire (Quinn) struck a perfect ball and it was well deserved for all the yeoman's work she has done this year in the midfield. I was also very excited by the play of Maggie (Donnellan). When things got frantic in the back Maggie came up huge and was the difference in the pipes. That is what you expect of the two-time OAC Goalkeeper of the Year and she has not disappointed. I also thought that Becca (Cartmill) did an outstanding job with her work rate in the midfield and up top. Her efforts on both sides of the ball certainly contributed to the outcome today. However great those individual efforts were, make no doubt about it this was all about the team and everyone on the field and on the sideline putting their heart into winning a championship."
With the win and regular season title all wrapped up, Capital (14-4-1, 7-2-0 OAC) has earned the No. 1 seed in OAC Tournament, and is set to host a semifinals match at 2 p.m. on Nov. 7 at Bernlohr Stadium....