By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
CHICAGO – Coming into the first weekend of the 2017 NCAA Division III Men's Soccer Championship, Capital University Men's Soccer had never won a tournament match. Despite losing to the University of Chicago 2-0 on Sunday night, the 2017 Crusader team can hold their heads high after becoming the first team to win a postseason NCAA contest.
The match against the University of Chicago started slowly for the Crusaders as Chicago was able to possess the ball for much of the opening few minutes. Capital's first shot came in the 15th minute off the foot of Jamie Robson (Canal Winchester, Ohio/Canal Winchester) but it was blocked. Capital wasn't able to record a shot on goal in the first half but in the second, Capital came out with a renewed sense of urgency.
The Crusaders were able to build several attacks after the break but still weren't able to break through for the opening goal. Both Tristan Bentley (Cincinnati, Ohio/Archbishop McNicholas) and Robson got off shots but neither forced a save.
While Capital's offense was more active in the second, Chicago's counterattack was working as well. After taking three shots in the first 20 minutes of the half, the Maroons broke the 0-0 tie in the 66th minute, a curling shot from the top of the 18-yard box from Matthew Koh. Koh added another goal in the 83rd minute off of a one-on-one opportunity against Capital keeper Justin Niswonger (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville).
Capital was able to get off five shots in the final seven minutes, including two on goal in the final four, after going down 2-0 but weren't able to find the back of the net. Robson led the Crusaders with four shots.
Niswonger made seven saves in the final match of his career for Capital. The match was also the final collegiate match for seniors Hunter Stiger (Cincinnati, Ohio/Lakota West), Calvin Saunders (Winston-Salem, N.C./West Forsyth) and Dominic Zumpone (Sunbury, Ohio/Big Walnut).
The Crusaders finish their season with a 13-8-2 overall record.