COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Capital University men's lacrosse team took to the field Sunday afternoon in the season opener against Olivet College. C.J. Hughes and Brennan O'Callaghan paved the way for Cap with five goals and two assists each in the 21-10 victory.
Freshman C.J. Hughes (Cincinnati, Ohio/ Walnut Hills) picked up his first collegiate point with a goal, which was also the game's first, with 11:54 left in the first quarter. Five seconds later, sophomore Brennan O'Callaghan (West Chester, Ohio/ Lakota West) scored a goal off of a pass from sophomore Ryan Rampi (Hilliard, Ohio/ Hilliard Darby), which gave Cap a 2-0 lead. Hughes found senior Brent Walton (Pickerington, Ohio/ Pickerington Central) who put it past the keeper to extend the lead to 3-0.
Olivet scored its first goal with 5:16 left in the first quarter, when Zach Sanders beat the Cap goalie.
Hughes struck again, this time, assisted by junior Jordan Fuller (Cincinnati, Ohio/ Walnut Hills), putting Capital back up by three, 4-1. After a penalty put Cap on the man advantage, Walton took a pass from O'Callaghan and beat the Comets' goalie for the man-up goal. With 2:37 left in the first quarter, Rampi found the back of the net and was assisted by junior Nick Bonsignore (Auburn Township, Ohio/ Walsh Jesuit) to give the Crusaders a 6-1 lead.
Tyler Polendo scored a goal for Olivet before the end of the quarter to make the score 6-2 after one quarter of play. Polendo started the scoring in the second half and pulled the Comets within three, 6-3.
Hughes scored his third goal of the game off of a pass from freshman Carter McCormick (Horseheads, N.Y./ Horseheads) with 10:28 left in the second quarter and strengthened the lead to 7-3. Hughes assisted on a goal that Rampi scored to make the score 8-3. Less than a minute later, O'Callaghan found the back of the net for an unassisted goal and put Cap up 9-3. 20 seconds later, Hughes took a pass from O'Callaghan and scored his fourth goal of the game.
The Comets got on the board again when Nino Minaudo scored a man-up goal to make the score 10-4.
Rampi beat the keeper for his third goal of the game off of a pass from sophomore Christopher Yeager (Hilliard, Ohio/ Hilliard Darby). O'Callaghan picked up a hat trick as he scored an unassisted goal with 3:07 left in the half. Hughes notched his fifth goal and was assisted by freshman Nick Latshaw (Elmira, N.Y./ Elmira). Junior Carson Paull (Sandpoint, Idaho/ Sandpoint) made two spectacular passes which lead to the half's final two goals. The first was a behind-the-back pass to O'Callaghan and the second was a pass in traffic to junior Teddy Crites (Waukee, Iowa/ Waukee). Capital took a 15-4 lead into the half.
Olivet started the scoring in the second half with a goal in the first minute of the third quarter when Sanders scored.
Senior Connor Simon (Sylvania, Ohio/ Sylvania Northview) tabbed his first goal of the season with an unassisted goal with 12:43 left in the third quarter.
The Comets scored two unanswered goals to cut the lead down to 16-7.
Capital responded with three unanswered goals. Junior Jordan Gush (Horseheads, N.Y./ Horseheads) took a pass from junior Josh Tomsich (Midland, Mich./ Herbert Henry) and scored. Tomsich scored an unassisted goal, before O'Callaghan scored on the man advantage, on a pass from Walton.
Shane Prunty scored an unassisted goal for the Comets with 2:46 left in the third and made the score 19-8 heading into the fourth period.
Polendo scored the opening goal of the fourth, as he was assisted by Logan Krieger, to pull Olivet within 10, 19-9.
Freshman Ed Carroll (Fairfield, Ohio/ Fairfield) grabbed his first collegiate goal unassisted. 11 seconds later, sophomore Grant Gullia (Canfield, Ohio/ Canfield) beat the keeper on a pass from Tomsich.
The Comets closed out the scoring when Trevor Bailey scored to make the final score 21-10.
Olivet finished the game with 13 clears on 14 chances. Polendo had a team-high four goals for the Comets.
Both teams finished the game tied with 50 shots apiece. Capital had the upper hand winning 20 of the 34 face offs. The Crusaders made 22 saves compared to 11 by the Comets. Cap picked up more groundballs, 43-29, and made 15 clears on 17 chances.
Freshman Tyler Faig (Pickerington, Ohio/ Pickerington North) won 20-of-33 face offs and picked up a game-high 10 groundballs. Hughes and O'Callaghan each scored five goals and assisted on two goals. Rampi tallied three goals and Walton ended the game with two goals.
With the victory, Capital improves to 1-0 on the season. The Crusaders return to action Saturday, Feb. 25 as they host Oberlin College. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.