By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio – The Capital University men's lacrosse team bowed out of the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament in the semi-final round on Wednesday night. The Crusaders fell to the Blue Streaks of John Carroll University, 19-6, at Don Shula Stadium thus ending their season.
John Carroll (12-4), which entered the tournament as top-seeded team, sprinted out to a quick start and used a combination of stout defense and overwhelming ball control to dictate the pace of play. The Blue Streaks went on to score seven straight goals and keep the Crusaders scoreless in the first quarter. JCU struck first with 12:41 on the clock in the first when Logan Calhoun took a point blank shot off a back door feed from Collin Rice. The next JCU goal came just as a Capital penalty was about to expire, but R.P. Whitty hit the back of the net before the Crusaders got back to full strength.
John Carroll continued to possess the ball for much of the quarter and converted on multiple long-range shot opportunities leading to a 7-0 score at the first break. The Capital offense struggled to mount an attack after being outshot 15-4 and losing the battle on the X, 5-3.
Capital's shot total escalated in the second period and the momentum on faceoffs shifted, but the Blue Streaks scored three more times before the first Crusaders tallied their first goal. Down 10-0, sophomore Talbott Gottwals broke up the JCU run with the first of his two goals on the evening. Gotwalls worked off a feed from C.J. Hughes from the near-side post and then buried the shot for the score with 7:16 remaining in the second quarter.
Capital had been whistled for a penalty just before the end of the second quarter which allowed the Blue Streaks to begin the third on the man-up and with first possession. They took advantage of that when Skylar Blake score John Carroll's second of four man-up goals on the day.
Hughes then got in on the scoring effort with a goal toward the middle of the frame to make the score 12-4, which then began a stretch of eight scoreless minutes of lacrosse. With 1:16 to go in the third, Colin Corcoran scored the first of his two man-up goals on the day to bring the score to 13-4 going into the final stanza.
Brennan O'Callaghan was the main focal point of the John Carroll defense but finally cracked through for his league-leading 66th goal of the season at the top of the fourth quarter, creating an eight-goal deficit. The goal did not change Capital's fortunes as the hosts then went on to score six straight goals to widen their lead to a point that could not be overcome.
In his final game for the Purple and White, senior goaltender Cole Palmby made 11 saves over the course of the evening.
After a tough start, Tyler Faig wound up winning the battle at the X after going 14-for-26 on faceoffs and also led the team with five ground balls. Senior defenseman James Wegmiller collect four ground ball and one caused turnover.
Capital ends its season with a 9-7 overall record and will graduate 11 seniors from this year's team.