Lead Slips Away During Second Half in Loss to Wooster

Pictured: Cole Palmby (photo credit: Joe Maiorana, Impact Action Sports Photography)
Pictured: Cole Palmby (photo credit: Joe Maiorana, Impact Action Sports Photography)

By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director

WOOSTER, Ohio – Two hours up the road in Wooster snow spackled John P. Papp Stadium to make for a slick surface in Wednesday night's nonconference men's lacrosse game. Not only were conditions slick but in a game of runs a comfortable lead slipped away in the second half after the host College of Wooster Fighting Scots outscored Capital 10-2 in the second half. Capital falls to 1-2 overall following its 14-10 loss to Wooster.

Two seldom-used names lit up the scoresheet as sophomore Adam Rieger (Lewis Center, Ohio/Olentangy Orange) and freshman Doc Crimmel (Powell, Ohio/St. Charles Prep) scored their first collegiate goals to open the contest. Rieger then came back with a man-up goal following a slashing penalty by Noah Plotkin to give Capital a 3-1 lead less than five minutes into the game.

Understanding the field conditions, Wooster slowed down the pace and picked its chances to attack carefully. On three quick strikes after methodically navigating the field, the Fighting Scots regained the lead, 4-3.

That then set into motion a streak of five unanswered goals scored by the Purple and White. Sophomore C.J. Hughes (Cincinnati, Ohio/Walnut Hills) and senior Brennan O'Callaghan (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) alternated goals retake the lead, 5-4, and then helped Cap grow it to four with 4:55 remaining. Talbott Gottwals (Columbia, Md./Atholon) fed into that run with his first goal of the season, as well.

Meanwhile, the Capital defense kept the Fighting Scots scoreless in the second quarter, marking the second time this season the Crusaders' defense did not surrender a goal to an opponent in a given period. It would not be the last time a team was held scoreless in this game, however.

After Capital' defense held Wooster to a combined 14 shot attempts over the first two quarters, the Scots increased its production with 14 shots in each of the next two stanzas. Wooster's Jack Galle started the third quarter with a man-up goal just 36 seconds into the start of the period to break up Capital's offensive run and begin its own. Galle scored three times as the Fighting Scots rallied to retake the lead for a second time, 9-8, with 9:30 to go as Wooster tested Cole Palmby's right side.

After five consecutive goals, O'Callaghan answered with his second goal of the game. Senior Teddy Crites (Waukee, Iowa/Waukee) found O'Callaghan streaking through the heart of the Scots' defense and hit his teammate in stride leading to a bullseye to the back of the net.

Capital was unable to take advantage of an extra-man opportunity after an illegal body check by Matt Natelli. After the Fighting Scots regrouped they attacked and stole back the lead when Sam Kuhn scored with 3:03 to go in the third. The lead was short-lived when nearly 30 seconds later, O'Callaghan made a move from behind the cage and leveled the score. Senior goaltender Cole Palmby (Delaware, Ohio/Olentangy) came up with a big save to end the third quarter and keep it tied, 10-10.

The Fighting Scots continued to pepper Palmby while also putting additional pressure up and down the field on the defensive end. Wooster forced Capital into six turnovers for a second straight quarter, and outshot the Crusaders, 14-6. Alexander Bloom scored the go-ahead and eventual game-winning goal with 9:22 to go. He then added a second after an initial save was recollected by Ted Wells and the duo regrouped and connected for the score. Wooster, holding onto a two-goal lead, quickly scored twice once under the three-minute mark to put the game out of reach.

Sam Kuhn led the Fighting Scots with five goals and one helper, while Bloom scored four and collected four ground balls.

O'Callaghan and Hughes each scored three goals in the loss. O'Callaghan added two assists to share the team lead in that category with Crites. Palmby made 10 saves on 24 shots on goal against.

Tyler Faig improved on the faceoff after coming away the winner in 13-of-27.

Capital will regroup and play its fourth consecutive North Coast Athletic Conference opponent when they host Wittenberg University on Wednesday, March 14 at Bernlohr Stadium.