SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – The Capital University and Wittenberg University men's lacrosse teams attempted to escape poor weather last week by rescheduling their contest for Monday afternoon. Mother Nature had other ideas and brought storms, which delayed action and slowed down the Cap offense in a 13-5 loss to the Tigers at Edwards-Maurer Field.
Wittenberg (4-3) countered Capital's fast-paced offense with ball control and taking matters into its own hands by rattling off 54 total shots over the course of the game. Conversely, Capital popped off 31 total shots, 19 of which landed on frame.
Play was suspended with under four minutes to go in the first quarter when lightning was spotted in the area. Wittenberg had built a 3-0 lead over the first 11 minutes before the delay was enacted.
Two hours passed before the all clear was given and action resumed. Junior Carson Paull (Sandpoint, Idaho) marked up the scoreboard with 2:22 remaining with an unassisted goal one minute after the restart, though Wittenberg retaliated with a goal with nine seconds remaining to reclaim its three-goal lead.
Capital (2-3) began the second quarter at a man disadvantage but senior defenseman Tate Stover (Delaware, Ohio/Olentangy) did not let that stop him from scoring a man-down goal to cut the Wittenberg lead to two. Both teams swapped goals over the next six minutes of play, but Capital struggled to move the ball into the attack zone successfully clearing the ball in just 6-of-11 attempts while committing nine turnovers in the frame. Wittenberg went on to score a second goal inside the final 10 seconds of a quarter to take a 7-3 lead into the half.
Despite Capital getting the first crack at scoring by winning 5-of-6 faceoffs, the Tigers scored three of the first four goals of the third quarter and kept feeding into its advantage in the shot column. Wittenberg goaltender Colin Cahill made four saves on nine shots faced in the frame and then went on to shut out the Crusaders in the fourth quarter behind three more stops. The Tigers defense limited Capital to just six shot attempts in the final quarter, a quarter in which Capital trailed 10-5 heading into. Wittenberg scored three more times in the fourth to add to its final goal count and win, 13-5.
Junior Brennan O'Callaghan (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) scored just once despite firing 10 shots off, five finding its way on frame. He was one of three Crusaders to score one goal, while Paull finished with a team-high two goals. O'Callaghan also added one assist for a two-point day. Sophomore Christopher Yeager (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby) recorded three of the team's seven caused turnovers. Freshman Tyler Faig (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington North) went 11-for-22 on the draw and recorded six ground balls. Junior goaltender Cole Palmby (Delaware, Ohio/Olentangy) ended with 14 saves.
Wittenberg's Jack Strahm recorded a hat trick with two of those goals scored in the final four minutes. He also added an assist to his line. Three Tiger players scored two goals. Cahill made 14 saves on 19 attempts.
Capital has now lost three straight matches but will regroup for its first Ohio Athletic Conference game against defending conference champion John Carroll University. They will host the Blue Streaks this Saturday, March 25, at 7 p.m. on Purmort Field at Bernlohr Stadium.