COLUMBUS – The Capital University men's lacrosse team competed in its first rivalry game at the varsity level Saturday, falling 17-6 against cross-town foe Otterbein in an Ohio Athletic Conference contest at Bernlohr Stadium.
With the loss, the Crusaders (8-4 overall, 1-2 OAC) are locked in a three-way tie for third place in the conference standings with John Carroll and Baldwin Wallace. Capital will take on both teams next week with a berth in the four-team OAC Tournament on the line.
Freshman middie Brent Walton (Pickerington, Ohio) led the Crusaders' offense with three goals and two assists. Freshman attackman Nick Hess (Horseheads, N.Y.) added two goals, while freshman attackman Connor Simon (Sylvania, Ohio) contributed with a pair of assists. Freshman middie Parker Marsch (Galena, Ohio) posted one goal and one assist.
Defensively, freshman captain Sawyer Mack (Dublin, Ohio) totaled three ground balls and three caused turnovers. Freshman defenseman Adam Thomas (Powell, Ohio) caused a team-high four turnovers, while freshman defenseman Tate Stover (Delaware, Ohio) caused three turnovers and picked up a ground ball.
Otterbein (8-4, 3-0) out-shot Capital 39-13 and won 19-of-27 face-offs. The Cardinals also finished with a 36-19 advantage in ground balls.
Otterbein outshot Capital 9-1 in the first quarter. The Cardinals' first two goals came within a one-minute span starting at the 10:14 mark of the quarter. Otterbein added another with 7:05 on the clock and one more with 1:53 to play in the period to take a 4-0 advantage through 15 minutes of action.
After five unanswered goals by the Cardinals to start the second quarter, the Crusaders got on the board with 1:44 on the clock as Marsch made a great move around a defender and fed Walton, who put the ball in the top left corner.
The Cardinals tallied first in the third quarter at the 8:37 mark to regain their nine-goal lead.
Just over three minutes later, Walton started a three-goal run for Capital by tallying his second goal of the contest on a pass from Simon during a man-up opportunity.
The Crusaders scored twice more on man-up opportunities. At the 3:32 mark, Simon found Hess for his second assist. Walton scored again 23 seconds later for his team-leading 25th goal of the year on a pass from freshman middie Michael Trefethern (Canfield, Ohio) to cut the Capital deficit to six.
Otterbein closed the quarter with two goals in the final 2:13 to take a 12-4 lead.
The Cardinals continued their run with three more goals before the Crusaders responded with 8:07 on the clock. Marsch cut to the middle and found the back of the net for his 13th goal of the year. Walton picked up the assist on the play.
Following an Otterbein goal, Hess registered a man-down goal with 3:42 to play, assisted by Walton. The Cardinals added one more later in the period for the final margin.
The Crusaders resume conference play Wednesday against John Carroll. Face-off is slated for 4 p.m. at Bernlohr Stadium.