ALLIANCE, Ohio – What started as a defensive struggle between the Capital University and University of Mount Union men's lacrosse teams eventually turned into a runaway at Mount Union Stadium. Capital kept the pressure on and held the Purple Raiders to just three goals, while the offense rolled out 14 goals in the second half to roll to an 18-3 victory on Friday afternoon.
Capital (6-5, 3-2 OAC) and Mount Union (5-6, 1-4 OAC) found themselves in a two-goal game at halftime, with the Crusaders ahead, 4-2. Brennan O'Callaghan (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) scored all four Capital goals in the first half and recorded a hat trick at the top of the second quarter.
Though they only had only four goals to show for it, the Crusaders recorded 18 shots to the Purple Raiders' 16. Thirteen of those 18 shots fell on frame for Capital, with Mount goaltender Jake Krone making nine saves.
Capital's defense forced nine turnovers in the first half, while junior goaltender Cole Palmby (Delaware, Ohio/Olentangy) made four of his five saves in that time. They also were more successful retrieving loose balls with 12 ground balls to Mount Union's six.
In the second half, both phases of Capital's game were elevated to new heights. The defense allowed just one goal in the entire second half. Cap limited Mount Union to four shot attempts in the third quarter and zero in the fourth. Mount Union committed 12 turnovers in the second half while Capital took much better care of the ball and made it hurt on offense.
After both teams swapped goals in the first six minutes of the third quarter, Capital rattled off 13 consecutive goals over the final 24 minutes of the game. Freshman C.J. Hughes (Cincinnati, Ohio/Walnut Hills) scored the first and fourth Capital goals of the third quarter, and then added three more in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Ryan Rampi (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Bradley) and senior Brent Walton (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington Central) scored their first goals of the game to help Cap build a 9-3 lead after the end of the third.
Capital exploded with nine more goals in the fourth quarter, the first by Hughes while on the man-up. Rampi and Walton went back-to-back with goals yet again before Hughes scored his fourth of five total goals. O'Callaghan added two more goals in the fourth to finish with a seven goals, tying his career high. He also finished with three ground balls and one caused turnover.
Freshman Tyler Faig (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington North) had another solid day on faceoffs, winning 18-of-24 battles on the 'X'. He has now 50 percent or more of his faceoffs in a game in each of the last five matches. In that time, he is 74-for-100 (.740) since April 1.
Senior Tate Stover (Delaware, Ohio/Olentangy) led the team with three caused turnovers, while Faig led with nine ground balls. Senior Danny Davide (Massillon, Ohio/Canton Catholic) also had a day with two caused turnovers and five ground balls.
Capital's defensive effort marked the sixth straight match in which it has allowed fewer than nine goals in a game, and fourth straight that the defense surrendered four or fewer.
The Purple and White bring its game back home to play Heidelberg University on Saturday, April 22 at 1 p.m. Capital will also celebrate its first full graduating class prior to the start of the game.