COLUMBUS, Ohio – A success first half by the Capital University men's soccer team was nullified by three unanswered goals by the Saints of Thomas More College. The Crusaders' first night game at Bernlohr Stadium was spoiled in a 4-2 loss at the hands of the Saints on Thursday night.
Capital started off well by controlling the tempo of the first half with an aggressive offensive and a strong showing on the defense's back line. Sophomore Calvin Saunders (Clemmons, N.C.) scored his third goal over his last two matches in just the 12th minute of the contest. Like his last two scores, Saunders and freshman Chewy Gordon (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville North) connected for the goal. Saunders took a shot from the right side, just outside of the 18-yard line and hit the top-right corner of the Saints' goal for the go-ahead score.
Capital took that lead into the locker room thanks to its defense, which allowed just two shots on goal in the first half. Sophomore goalkeeper Justin Niswonger (Centerville, Ohio) made both of those save to keep Thomas More (3-0-0) off of the board.
The lead vanished less than 20 seconds into the second half when Brian Runyon tied up the game with a shot from inside the 18 on the left side. It would be the first of three times that his name would be called on a goal.
Less than a minute later, senior Tyler Washington (New Albany, Ohio/New Albany) helped Capital regain the lead by following up his own close-range shot, knocking the ball in past TMC keeper Jeff Paulin.
The physicality on the pitch continued to increase as time passed and stakes heightened with the momentum beginning to shift slightly in Thomas More's favor. Colin Dean scored twice in a span of less than three minutes to swing the pendelum the visitors' way. His first score came in the 63rd minute when buried a header off of Runyon's corner kick, and his second came in the 65th minute off Runyon's cross into the box, which Dean also headed in for the goal.
Capital was unable to mount any additional quality scoring chances, while Thomas More scored once more in the 77th minute to seal the win. The final goal was scored against reserve keeper, Trevor Funk.
Niswonger finished the match with two saves before having to leave after being issued a red card in the 73rd minute. Funk finished with a pair of saves, as well.
The Saints doubled up the Crusaders in shots taken, 18-9, and also held a 9-3 advantage in corners.
Thursday night's contest also marked the first home night game at Bernlohr Stadium in Capital Athletics' history following their installation during the summer months.
The loss drops Capital to 1-2-0 overall on the young season. They will be back in action at Bernlohr Stadium this Saturday, Sept. 12, against Case Western Reserve University at 5 p.m.