COLUMBUS, Ohio – The intensity was at an all-time high at Bernlohr Stadium as the top-two teams in the Ohio Athletic Conference standings battled through a physical four quarters. The Capital University Crusaders and the Otterbein University Cardinals added another chapter to the heated rivalry on Wednesday afternoon.
Capital (11-2, 4-0 OAC) got its offensive attack going early, scoring the first four goals of the game, two coming from the OAC's leader in goals, Brennan O'Callaghan (West Chester, Ohio).
With the Crusaders leading 4-1 in the second quarter, the first major penalty of the game was called on a Capital player for having taping his stick illegally taped. The violation resulted in a three-minute non-releasable charge.
Capital's defense stiffened after the penalty to keep Otterbein (9-4, 3-1 OAC) from taking advantage of the man-up opportunity. During that time, the Cardinals fired off four shots, one of them was saved by goalkeeper Cole Palmby (Delaware, Ohio). However, Otterbein managed to claim the second quarter to cut the score to 4-3 at the half.
The Cardinals scored tied the game with 8:43 left in the third quarter when Connor Deziewit received a long pass from teammate Trevor Kujawski and zipped it into the upper-right corner of the net.
About seven minutes later, freshman midfielder Carson Paull (Sandpoint, Idaho) swung the momentum in Capital's favor with the Crusaders' first score since the first quarter. Nick Hess (Horseheads, N.Y.) added another goal with 38 seconds left in the third to build a 6-4 lead, heading into the final quarter.
Otterbein won the opening fourth quarter faceoff and quickly struck with a goal from attackman Robbie Guilano. Eight minutes later, the Cardinals tied the game for the second time, bringing the score to 6-6 with 6:17 left to play.
Both defenses stepped up over the next five minutes until Paull scored an acrobatic goal with 44 ticks on the clock as he took a shot from an Otterbein defender. The hit drew a slashing penalty on the Cardinals.
Tensions rose in the final seconds as both teams attempted to keep their composure. Otterbein got two shots off in the final 11 seconds, both of them missing wide.
Hess, O'Callaghan, and Paull each scored two goals to pace the Crusaders. Brent Walton (Pickerington, Ohio) chipped in with one.
Otterbein managed to win the face off battle which contributed to most of its goals. After losing four of the first five face offs, Otterbein took control to win nine of the final 11.
Palmby was tested with 18 shots, recording 12 saves.
The Crusaders will take on John Carroll (7-4, 1-1 OAC) at Bernlohr Stadium on Saturday, April 15 at 1:00 p.m.