AUSTINTOWN, Ohio – Year one of the Marzano Era has ended in a big way. The Columbus-area native in his first year with the Capital University men's lacrosse program was named Co-Coach of the Year by the Ohio Athletic Conference on the morning of Thursday, May 11.
Capital won their first two games of the season for the first time in its four-year history with double-digit margin wins over Olivet College (Feb. 19) and Oberlin College (Feb. 25). After hitting a four-match rough patch, Capital rebounded exceptionally by winning seven of its final eight regular season games with six of those wins coming against conference competition. The string of victories began with a 12-6 win over rival Otterbein University, marking the second win and its largest victory over the Cardinals.
The Crusaders' only loss in the final month of the regular season came against Baldwin Wallace University, but redemption was had in their OAC Tournament semi-final match on May 2. After finishing the conference season 6-2, Marzano and the Crusaders earned the No. 3 seed in the OAC Tournament and was matched up against the Yellow Jackets. Cap dismantled one of the toughest defenses in the nation that averaged less than seven goals per game against by scoring 12 goals in its 12-4 tournament road win to advance to the program's second OAC championship game.
Marzano led the Purple and White to its third straight season with 10 or more wins and bettered its conference record by two wins from the 2016 campaign. The team's goals per game increased by 0.29 goals per contest, ending the season at 14.25. The Crusaders scored 20 or more goals six times this season and even though offense was expected to be the team's strength, the defense was well represented with 13 games having allowed 10 or fewer goals and four games with five or fewer goals allowed.
Marzano becomes the second Capital head coach to be named OAC Coach of the Year in the program's four-year history. In 2015, Bill Olin became the first after taking the Crusaders into its first OAC title game.
Marzano is now 33-43 overall as a head coach after coming to Capital following four years leading Wilmington College Men's Lacrosse. With Capital, he set new career highs for overall (10) and conference (6) wins in a season, and reached the postseason for the first time in his collegiate coaching career.
The OAC announced Baldwin Wallace head coach, Jason Tarnow, as the additional coach to share the honor with Marzano. This year marks the first time in four years the OAC named co-coaches of the year.