COLUMBUS, Ohio – Two members of the Capital University Men's Lacrosse team hoisted more championship hardware this week as members of a summer box lacrosse league that won its championship series. Connor Ryan and Spencer Towne will now represent the Ohio Collegiate Box Lacrosse League (OCBLL) and Capital Men's Lacrosse at the first National Collegiate Box Series (NCBS) National Championship this weekend in Huntington Beach, California.
Rising senior Connor Ryan (Westerville, Ohio/Olentangy Orange) and rising sophomore Spencer Towne (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) are members of the Rivermen, one of five team that comprise the Ohio Collegiate Box Lacrosse League. The Rivermen, who entered the 2019 season as defending OCBLL champions, repeated as takers of the title in the league's second season. The Rivermen finished the regular season 5-2 overall to claim the No. 2 seed heading into the OCBLL Championship Series. The Walleyes, one of two teams based out of Cleveland, won the regular season behind a 5-1 overall record and was the top seed of the championship series.
Over the course of the season, Ryan scored three goals and one assist from his defensive position. He also picked up 26 loose balls and was a key cog in the team's defensive effort that allowed a league-low 75 goals (10.71 goals per game), second only to the Walleyes (74, 12.33) who played one less game. Towne served as transition/forward for the Riverman and scored his first goal of the season in the game one of the championship series.
The Rivermen defeated the Walleyes by scores of 17-10 and 17-13 in a two-game championship series that was held at the Resolute Athletic Complex (Columbus, Ohio) on Wednesday, July 22 and Monday, July 29. Having won the Ohio Cup, the OCBLL's championship trophy, the Rivermen will now represent the OCBLL in the first NCBS National Championship. The two-game series pits the champions of the OCBLL against the Colorado Collegiate Box Lacrosse League (CCBLL), founding league of the NCBS. The Rivermen will battle the Fighting Bison, also a back-to-back champion of its respective league, on Friday, Aug. 2 and Saturday, Aug. 3 at The Rinks Irvine for the right to be crowned the first NCBS National Champion.
Note: Should the series be tied 1-1 after Saturday, the team will play a 15-minute full-time overtime period to determine a winner. If it is still tied, there will be a 15-minute, sudden death session to determine a winner.
Jack Hannah (University of Denver) and Nick Musci (Ohio State University) who combine for 80 goals and 23 assists lead the Rivermen. Goalie Matt Huizenga of Ohio Northern University has been a key piece to the Rivermen's success between the pipes.
Ryan and Towne are two of five Capital Crusaders who play in the OCBLL, a summer box lacrosse league dedicated to the development of college field lacrosse players in their offseason. CJ Hughes and Zach Whaley played together on the Aviators, and Luke Wyatt competed on the Stags squad.
To follow the Rivermen as they head to California and compete for the national championship, follow the OCBLL on Twitter and Instagram at @OHCBoxLax. Additional information on the Rivermen, including stats and ways to watch past and future games, can be located at ncbs.tv.
The OCBLL is comprised of five teams, three based in Columbus and two based out of Cleveland. The league originated with four teams but expanded to five prior to the 2019 season due to increased participation. A sixth team is planned to be introduced in 2020. The CCBLL was the first league upon the creation of NCBS in 2017. The OCBLL was created and put into operation in 2018, and multiple leagues around the country will join the NCBS in 2020 including the Maryland Collegiate Box Lacrosse (MCBLL) and the Connecticut Collegiate Lacrosse League (CTCBLL).
For more information on US Box Lacrosse and the NCBS, go to https://www.usboxla.com/college-about.