By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Capital University men's lacrosse team evened their season record to 3-3 following a 12-6 victory over Transylvania University on Wednesday night. The Crusaders welcomed back two key offensive weapons, which provided the means to defeat the Pioneers on their home turf.
Senior Brennan O'Callaghan (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) and junior Ryan Rampi (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby) made their returns to the lineup in a big way, combining for six goals and eight points between them. Each post hat tricks while Rampi also chipped in two helpers. Rampi had not played at all this season while O'Callaghan had missed the last two games.
Transylvania (3-4) kicked the game off with urgency on the offensive end but was met by senior goaltender Cole Palmby (Delaware, Ohio/Olentangy) who stood on his head in the first quarter. Through the first six minutes of the game, Transylvania had taken six shots and planted five on goal. Palmby answered the call with perfection between the posts to keep the Pioneers off the board while the Crusaders' offense went to work.
Capital had put on its own pressure with five shots, including one that rang the post. Toward the end of Transylvania barrage, junior midfielder Barrett Naugle (Champion, Pa./Greensburg Central) showed the Pioneers how it is done by finding the back of the net for the game's first goal with 9:11 remaining. On the very next possession following a faceoff win by sophomore Tyler Faig (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington North), Rampi scored his first goal to double up the lead.
The Crusaders took a 3-2 lead into the second quarter but ballooned that advantage to four goals by period's end. Cap outscored the Pioneers 4-1 in the second quarter with two goals coming from sophomore C.J. Hughes (Cincinnati, Ohio/Walnut Hills), the second coming on the man-up. Sophomore Carter McCormick and senior Johnathan Mundell also scored to help build a 7-3 lead heading into halftime.
After a quiet first half, O'Callaghan final broke it open by scoring both of Capital's goals in the third quarter. He first connected with Rampi for his first and then at the tail end of the frame teamed up with Hughes to make it a 9-4 game.
The trio of Hughes, O'Callaghan and Rampi each scored one more time and in succession to complete their respective hat tricks. Hughes scored his second goal on the extra-man opportunity with 5:16 following a slashing call on the Pioneers to give Cap a 12-4 lead, more than enough to ride to victory.
Aside from the goal scorers, multiple Crusaders put up good numbers that led to the victory.
Palmby finished the game with 10 saves on the evening, allowing just six goals in his third win of the season. He is now 10 saves away from 500 in his career.
Reigning OAC Defensive Player of the Week Tyler Faig won 14-of-22 (.636) faceoffs. He went a perfect 6-for-6 on the "X" in the Crusaders' second quarter.
Senior long stick midfielder Nick Bonsignore (Auburn Township, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit) led Cap with six ground balls on the day and also tossed in one caused turnover.
Sophomore Connor Ryan (Lewis Center, Ohio/Olentangy Orange) put together a good defensive line with five ground balls and caused a team-high four turnovers.
As an additional note, O'Callaghan is three goals away from scoring his 200th career goal.
The Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) season is now upon us. Capital will open conference play against the defending OAC regular season and tournament champion, John Carroll University, on Saturday, March 24. The rematch of last year's OAC Tournament championship will take place at Don Shula Stadium (University Heights, Ohio) and kick off at 1 p.m.