Crusaders Knock Off #17 Ohio Wesleyan in Final Minutes

Crusaders Knock Off #17 Ohio Wesleyan in Final Minutes

RG Florey postgame interview


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Facing the prospect of overtime against the No. 17 Ohio Wesleyan University, the Capital University men's soccer team used a late goal by Calvin Saunders to overcome the Battling Bishops in its 2-1 upset win on Wednesday afternoon.

Fresh off of an offensive push by Ohio Wesleyan (7-3-1) and a substitution, Capital came up the field slowly looking for a hole in the visitor's defense. As time dwindled inside two minutes remaining, freshman Calvin Saunders (Clemmons, N.C.) began to streak down the far side of the field looking for the ball. Senior RG Florey (Westerville, Ohio/South) served up a well-placed lead pass that hit Saunders in stride. From just inside the box, Saunders let one rip and beat Ohio Wesleyan goalkeeper Colin Beemiller to score the game-winning goal with 1:42 left on the clock.

The goal marked Saunders' third score of the season. For Florey, the assist was his first of the year.

The defense held for the remainder of the match and did not allow the Bishops the make a serious attempt at the Crusaders' cage, leading Capital to its fifth win of the season and its most high-profile win this season.

Preceding the assist on the game winner, Florey scored the match's first goal to put Capital ahead of the Bishops. In the 70th minute, Florey combined a bit of luck with skill to bounce home his team-leading fourth goal of the season. His shot taken just outside of the top corner of the box on the near side of the field, deflected off of a defender in front of Beemiller. Despite the keeper getting a paw on it, the ball still had enough juice to maintain its path to the back of the cage.

The lead was short-lived, however. On OWU's next possession after the goal, Colton Bloecher took the ball up the far sideline and launched a shot from the top corner of the box, beating an outstretched Trevor Funk for the equalizer. It was his eighth of the year.

The game-winner may never have been if not for a couple of key saves by Funk, including one with eight minutes left in regulation. Ohio Wesleyan's Lonnie Barnes got a head on a pass off of a corner, but Funk read it perfectly and stepped in front of the ball to make the stop, preserving the tie.

Funk (2-0-0), a native of Dublin, Ohio, finished with eight saves to mark a new season high for the freshman. He saw much action as Ohio Wesleyan took 24 shot attempts, nine of which were on frame. Capital responded with 14 shots.

The win snaps a five-match unbeaten streak and four-match winning streak for the nationally-ranked Battling Bishops.

Capital will take its 5-4-0 overall record directly into Ohio Athletic Conference play this weekend. The Crusaders will head to Alliance, Ohio to take on the University of Mount Union at 1 p.m.