By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Capital University Men's Soccer (6-4, 0-1) opened Ohio Athletic Conference play on Saturday night with a Homecoming matchup against the rival Otterbein University Cardinals (7-2, 1-0) but were unable to score in a 1-0 loss.
The Cardinals scored the lone goal of the match in the 20th minute from Zach Lewis. Seconds before the goal, Otterbein was awarded a corner which Toby Varland sent into the box. Lewis got his head on the ball by the far post and although the initial shot was blocked, he was able to extend his leg and send the rebound into the back of the net.
Capital had a perfect opportunity to equalize in the 57th minute when Chewy Gordon (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville Central) was fouled inside the box and Capital was awarded a penalty kick. Luke Morais (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville South) stepped up to take the shot but his strike was saved by Otterbein goalkeeper Collin Hoffman.
Both teams were able to get off a high number of shots but neither goalkeeper was challenged much because the defenses blocked just about everything that came towards them. Hoffman finished the game with only two saves and Justin Niswonger (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville) didn't make any saves for Capital.
The pace of the match picked up in the final 10 minutes with Capital pushing for the tying goal but the Crusaders weren't able to come up with a score. Gordon led Capital with five shots in the game and Hunter Stiger (Cincinnati, Ohio/Lakota West) had four. As a team, the Crusaders outshot Otterbein 18-15.
Next up for Capital is a trip to Wilmington College on Tuesday, Oct. 4. That game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff.