UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio – Down by two goals, the Capital University men's soccer team, mounted a charge late in Wednesday's Ohio Athletic Conference semi-final match, but the effort fell short of a comeback in their 2-1 loss to top-seeded John Carroll University.
After playing to a scoreless half, John Carroll's Brian Potocnik scored each of his team's goals to give the Blue Streaks (17-3) a 2-0 advantage. Capital (10-9-1) had been knocking on the door at both ends of the second half and possessed opportunities that could have at least forced overtime.
In the final two minutes of regulation, Capital mounted an attack that nearly got them on the board with 1:06 remaining. Hunter Stiger got a piece of an airborne ball with an open net, but John Carroll defenseman Jimmy Mattina was stationed was stationed on the goal line and cleared out the attempt to prevent the score.
Capital did net a goal mere seconds before the end of the 90th minute when Calvin Saunders (Clemmons, N.C.) launched a shot from about 15 yards out on the near side of the field, slipping it inside the far post. The goal halved the Blue Streaks lead, but no more offense was to be had by the Crusaders.
Potocnik's first goal came as a result of a counterstrike taken the other way. After Capital had two shots blocked down by the John Carroll defense, the hosts fled upfield on a fast break. Potocnik received a feed from Karol Boryka where he finished off the play with his 19th goal of the season, scored in the 54th minute. He struck again near the turn of the 76th minute to double up the Blue Streaks' lead.
John Carroll entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed by virtue of its unbeaten OAC record while Capital served as the No. 5 seed and defeated No. 4 Ohio Northern University, 1-0, to advance to the second round.
The loss ends the 2014 season for the Crusaders, who finish the campaign with an overall record of 10-9-1, their first 10-win season since 2009.