By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Shorthanded due to injury and illness, the Capital University men's lacrosse team laid it all out on the field at Bernohr Stadium on Wednesday night but came up just short in a true battle of grit. The Tigers of Wittenberg University delivered a 10-9 loss to the Crusaders with a late man-up goal, dropping Cap to 1-3 overall.
Special teams proved to play a big factor in Wednesday night's dogfight to the finish. Wittenberg scored twice while on the extra-man opportunity while keeping Capital scoreless in its three attempts. The Tigers' Jerry Coyle scored while a man up with 7:02 remaining off of a feed by Michael Carluccio to take a 10-9 lead, and Witt's defense prevented a Crusader comeback with three saves down the stretch and a shot that rang off the post.
Teddy Crites (Waukee, Iowa/Waukee) had two good opportunities late after scoring two of Cap's nine goals, but one shot was blocked from close range and the latter was a low attempt that was saved by Wittenberg goaltender Paxton Kreger. The Tigers picked up the ground ball and ran out the remaining 34 seconds on the clock to finalize the result.
Jerry Coyle scored the game's first goal, feeding into Witt's 4-1 lead heading into the final minute of the opening quarter. Capital had other plans than to allow that three-goal deficit to go unanswered before the first horn. Junior Barrett Naugle (Champion, Pa./Greensburg Central) scored twice in the last 60 seconds with just 36 ticks between scores to bring Cap back too within a goal.
Cap and Witt swapped goals as part of a low-scoring second quarter that featured 22 shots between them. Crusaders' goaltender Cole Palmby (Delaware, Ohio/Delaware) stood on his head in the frame with eight saves in the frame.
The third quarter featured another tit-for-tat type quarter in which after the dust settled the score remained a one-goal affair in favor of the hosts. Crites scored both of his goals in the third off of helpers by C.J. Hughes (Cincinnati, Ohio/Walnut Hills) and Brendan Pontiere (Moon Township, Pa./Moon Area). For Pontiere, the assist marked his first collegiate point in just his second game.
The Coyles, Jerry and Michael, then scored back-to-back unassisted goals to regain the lead and take a 7-6 score into the final frame.
Hughes opened the fourth quarter with two scored less than two minutes apart to give Capital the lead again, but it did not last long. Twenty seconds after his second unassisted goal, Noah Monderwell scored to tie the game, and then took back the lead for Witt with 10:26 to go.
Johnathan Mundell leveled it up one last time with 9:42 to go in the second, but two penalties called against Cap left the team two men down. With nine seconds left to serve on the first penalty, Jerry Coyle scored the game-winning goal.
Capital will get back into action on Saturday, March 19 at 1 p.m. against Alma College in the friendly confines of Bernlohr Stadium.