By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
AUSTINTOWN, Ohio – Following a record-breaking year of nearly unprecedented team success for Capital University Men's Lacrosse, the Ohio Athletic Conference announced its 2019 All-OAC teams and special individual awards on Wednesday and rewarded three Crusaders for their contributions to the team's performance.
Capital navigated an undefeated 9-0 conference season en route to the second OAC regular season title in program history and the top seed in the OAC Tournament. For their efforts, T.J. Johnson, Jack Scharner and coach Dom Marzano were individually recognized with the conference's individual awards. In addition to the three special awards, 10 players were named to All-OAC teams.
Read the full OAC release (coming soon)
Headlining the awards is senior goalkeeper T.J. Johnson (Champlin, Minn./Champlin Park) who was named Defensive Player of the Year, an honor heshares with John Carroll University's Clayton Karam. As a first-year starter, Johnson led all OAC goalies by posting a 55.2 save percentage in nine conference starts and his 57.3 overall save percentage was also the best in the league. Johnson was second among OAC goalkeepers with 172 overall saves, 69 of which came in OAC play. His 172 saves were the most in a single season in grogram history. Johnson had 12 games with 10 or more saves, five of which came in conference play. Johnson's 7.72 OAC goals against average was the second-best in the conference and his 8.46 overall GAA was the best mark among OAC goaltenders. Johnson was the only OAC goalkeeper to start and win all of his team's OAC games. He was also named the OAC Defensive Player of the Week four times in 2019 which tied for the most player of the week awards in a single season in team history. Johnson is the first Crusader to be named Defensive Player of the Year since Tate Stover in 2015.
Joining Johnson as the other Capital player to receive a special honor is freshman attacker Jack Scharner (Maineville, Ohio/King's) who was voted the conference's Rookie of the Year. Scharner finished sixth on the Crusaders with 34 points but his 23 points in conference play were the fourth-most by a Capital player over the nine-game conference season. Scharner scored nine goals against OAC opponents and tied for the team lead with 14 assists. At Wilmington College on April 24, Scharner tallied a career-high six points with three goals and three assists and the three scores tied his season high. In the rivalry matchup with Otterbein University on April 13, the freshman scored one goal and dished out a season-best four assists as the Crusaders beat the Cardinals 11-7. The four assists are tied for the third-most in a single game in program history. Scharner is the second Capital player to be named the conference's best rookie joining Capital's all-time leading scorer Brennan O'Callaghan who received the award in 2015.
The third special honor of the year did not go to a Capital player but rather Head Coach Dom Marzano. In his third season at the helm, Marzano guided the Crusaders to the most wins in program history with 15 and fewest losses with two. Capital's nine OAC wins were the most in program history and it was just the second time that the team completed the OAC regular season with an undefeated conference record. In addition to the wins, the 2019 Crusaders also set multiple other records including most points (408), most goals (254) and most assists (154). The team also set records for most points, goals and assists per game. Marzano was named the OAC's Co-Coach of the Year in 2017.