By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Capital University Men's Soccer may have had to wait a couple days to record its first official result of the 2018 season but the wait was worth it as the Crusaders rose to the occasion in a 4-3 victory over Wabash College on Sunday afternoon.
After Friday's opener was cancelled due to lighting, Capital took the field in the sweltering heat in Bernlohr Stadium and found themselves in a dogfight. With the score tied 3-3 after a back-and-forth first 78 minutes though, the Crusaders got the breakthrough they needed to go home winners.
With Capital building its attack through the midfield, a Wabash defender was forced to clear the ball out of bounds to prevent a breakaway. Defender Greg Knox's throw found its way into Wabash's box where a Little Giant sent it out of bounds but gave Capital a corner. After some jostling for position in the box, Knox stepped up, delivered the kick to the back post and connected with Chewy Gordon's head to bury it in the back of the net. The goal was Gordon's second of the match and proved to be the game-winner.
The first goal of the day went to Wabash in the fourth minute when Kyle Holmer scored following a throw-in and a pass in the box from Jacques Boulais. The lead did not last long though as another two-goal scorer opened his 2018 scoring account four minutes later.
Capital controlled the pace of play for much of the first half and its execution on throw-ins was impeccable. The Crusaders got forward and a throw by Knox landed at the feet of Daniel Bundschuh in Wabash's box and the senior midfielder then smashed the ball home to level the score.
Gordon's first goal of the afternoon came in the 19th minute off of another throw from Knox. Again, Knox launched the ball into the box in front of the near post and Gordon rose above the defenders to strike it.
The Little Giants showed a lot of fight to tie the game at 2-2 in the 37th minute and then a rocket free kick by Timothy Herring in the 42nd minute gave Wabash a 3-2 lead at halftime.
After the break, it took the Crusaders only three minutes to equalize and for Bundschuh to net a brace. After a Wabash goal was waved off because of a foul in the box, Capital got forward on the ensuing kick. A defensive miscue deep in Wabash's territory allowed Jamie Robson to gain possession on the endline and cross it in front of goal. The initial pass missed Luke Morais but Bundschuh was trailing the play and mopped up the loose ball, sending it into the top of Wabash's net.
The next 30 minutes of the match were scoreless until Gordon's late winner. In the 55th minute, Wabash defender Christian Aleman was shown a straight red card after a challenge on Bundschuh that sent the senior to the ground. Bundschuh did not return to the game.
In all, Capital outshot the Little Giants 13-7 and held a 9-3 lead in shots on target. Starting goalkeeper Kyle Morais was not asked to make a save but cleaned up several chances in his box. His Wabash counterpart, Chad Wunderlich, made five saves.
Knox, who tied the single-season program record for assists with 11 in 2017, finished the game with three helpers.
The Crusaders will have a two-game set to play next weekend as part of the Fred Myers-adidas Challenge with the first game coming on Friday night against Hanover College (Ind.) at 7 p.m. On Saturday, the team will take on Waynesburg University (Pa.) at 5 p.m. Both of those games will be played on Purmort Field at Bernlohr Stadium.