COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Capital University men's soccer team was in action Saturday night against Ohio Northern University at Bernlohr Stadium. The No. 23/25 Crusaders and No. 4/7 Polar Bears played a double overtime thriller that ended in a 2-2 draw. Niswonger set a career-high with nine saves.
The Polar Bears came out shooting, taking two shots within the first five minutes of play. The OAC leading scorer, Matt Kinkopf took a shot just inside the box. Junior Justin Niswonger (Centerville, Ohio) made a spectacular diving save as Kinkopf tried to beat him to the near post. The next ONU shot would miss wide.
The first goal of the match came off of Polar Bear Patrick Sabol on a well-placed ball from Kinkopf. Ohio Northern took a 1-0 lead into halftime.
Niswonger made four saves in the first half. Four different Cap players had two shots each. Ohio Northern had a slight edge in shots 13-9.
The Crusaders answered the ONU goal early in the second half. Just three minutes into the half, freshman Greg Knox (Oxford, Mich.) threw a long throw into the box from about the 20-yard line on the far side of the field. The throw made it to the near post where it found senior Alexander Basiakos (Hilliard, Ohio/ Hilliard Bradley), who placed it over the keeper to tie the game, 1-1.
At the 62-minute mark, Kinkopf gave ONU the lead once again.
After a shot by Basiakos was blocked and sent out of play, senior Jacob Pulliam (Westerville, Ohio/ Westerville North) would take a corner kick for Capital. Pulliam took the corner from the near side of the field and sent the ball into the box. Basiakos was on the receiving end of a well-placed corner and scored the equalizer.
At the end of regulation, the match was tied 2-2. In the first overtime, both Dean McNeil and Niswonger were forced to make one save each. With just under four minutes left to play in the second overtime, ONU's Patrick Sabol took a shot to the near post. Niswonger came up huge with another diving save, which ensured the match ended in a draw.
Niswonger finished the match with a career-high nine saves. Basiakos finished with two goals to lead all scoring.
Cap is now 10-1-1 overall and 2-0-1 in the OAC. The Crusaders return to action on Tuesday as they travel to New Concord, Ohio, to battle Muskingum University. The match is scheduled to start at 4 p.m.