Capital Men’s Soccer Falls One Goal Short of OAC Championship

Pictured: Justin Niswonger (photo credit: Joe Maiorana, Impact Action Sports Photography)
Pictured: Justin Niswonger (photo credit: Joe Maiorana, Impact Action Sports Photography)

By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant

WESTERVILLE, Ohio – Capital University Men's Soccer made the short trip to Westerville to take on the top-seeded Otterbein University Cardinals in the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament Championship but came up just short, losing a 1-0 match.

After a good start from each team, the action remained scoreless for the first half.

In the 48th minute, the Cardinals recorded the match's first and only goal. Erick Juarez-Manning sent a shot towards goal from the left side of the box that slipped through the hands of Justin Niswonger (Centerville, Ohio Centerville) and Eric Stucky was there to send it home. Niswonger made two saves and allowed the one goal.

The score remained the same for the duration of the match but the Crusaders had several golden chances to equalize in the 88th minute when Otterbein wasn't able to control or clear the ball inside its own six-yard box. However, shots from Daniel Bundschuh (Cincinnati, Ohio/Walnut Hills) and Gordon were blocked and saved by an Otterbein defender on the goal line.

Each team started brightly with seven shots each in the first half. Chewy Gordon (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville Central) led Capital with four and Nate Norris took three for the Cardinals. All seven of Capital's shots came in the first 16 minutes. Gordon finished the match with a team-high six shots.

After the Otterbein goal just after the halftime break, Capital responded with two quick shots but neither required a save. Capital took six shots in the final 15 minutes trying to claw their way back in but the Cardinal defense was able to sustain the attacks and clear the ball, using enough time to outlast the Crusaders.

Barring an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, Capital finishes its season with a 12-7-2 overall record and a 5-3-1 record in OAC play.