COLUMBUS, Ohio – Monday, Nov. 3, marks the opening round of the 2014 Ohio Athletic Conference Men's Soccer Tournament. After a full slate of regular season matches, the Capital University men's soccer team has drawn the No. 5 seed, and will begin its bid for a conference title against the defending OAC Tournament champions, Ohio Northern University. That match will be held Monday evening at 7 p.m. from Kerscher Stadium (Ada, Ohio).
HOW THEY GOT THERE
The Crusaders enter the OAC Tournament with an overall record 9-8-1 record and 4-4-1 OAC ledger. They jumped into conference play at The University of Mount Union and midway through the month of October had a three-match winning streak and four-match unbeaten streak. After defeating Marietta College, 5-1, Capital has lost three straight leading to this point.
Against OAC opponents this season, the Crusaders are both scoring and allowing 2.0 goals per contest. They have outshot their competition 16.6 attempts per game to 12.6 attempts, while landing 45.6 percent of those shots on frame.
R.G. Florey (Westerville, Ohio/South) had been the main catalyst of offense through the majority of the year. Against OAC competition, he has scored a team-best five of the Crusaders' 18 goals, and added three helpers for a grand total of 13 points.
Aiding him on the attack has been Cheyn Roux (Davidson, N.C.), with four goals scored and two assists for 10 points.
Justin Niswonger (Centerville, Ohio) and Trevor Funk (Dublin, Ohio) have been splitting time in net this season, and that is no exception in the conference season. Funk (3-3-0) has garnered more playing time with five starts and six games played, but Niswonger's numbers are a shade better. In three starts and five games played in OAC play, Niswonger (1-1-1) has a goals-against average of 1.66 and a save percentage of .696 with 16 saves.
THE LAST TIME THEY MET
In their previous meeting this season Ohio Northern and Capital needed extra time to declare a winner but ONU emerged victorious, 2-1 (box score | recap). Both teams swapped goals just 20 seconds apart early in the first half and defense rode the contest into overtime. Josh McDaniel (Cincinnati, Ohio) scored his second goal of the season to tie the game, 1-1, in the 12th minute.
In the final two minutes of overtime, ONU pushed the ball forward to mount their first legit scoring chance of the extra session. The Polar Bears brought the ball down the near side of the field and pressed the center of the Crusaders defense. While their initial push was thwarted by the defense, Ohio Northern's Austin Horton was there to intercept an attempt to clear the ball, dribbled inside the 18-yard line and sent in the shot that ended the game.
The loss served as Capital's first in conference play and snapped Capital's then four-match unbeaten streak.
Capital has not defeated Ohio Northern since the 2009 season when they tied 2-2 in the OAC Championship final and then won by virtue of penalty kicks, 2-1. The Crusaders then hosted the first round of the NCAA Division III Championship, but fell to Transylvania University in overtime, 2-1.
Last year, the Crusaders met up with Ohio Northern in the OAC Tournament Semifinal and were defeated in double overtime, 2-1 (recap). The game was decided on a header put home by ONU's Stephen Perkins in the 105th minute. R.G. Florey scored Capital's lone goal in that contest. Ohio Northern then went on to win the OAC Tournament title and represent the OAC in the NCAA Tournament.
Capital enters the tournament as the No. 5 seed and will travel to Ada, Ohio to play No. 4 Ohio Northern at Kerscher Stadium. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
The winner of Monday evening's match will play top-seeded John Carroll University (9-0-0) on Wednesday, Nov. 5 at a time that will later be determined.
Coverage of the quarterfinal match will be provided by Ohio Northern at onusports.com.
Adults (19-61) - $7
OAC Student with valid ID – FREE!
Non-OAC Students 18 years and under - $2
Senior 62 years and older - $5
OAC Lifetime Passes will be honored for all championships (regular-season passes will not)