By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Capital University Men's Soccer started the 2018 Fred Myers-adidas Challenge with a bang on Friday night, defeating Hanover College (Ind.) 7-2 in Bernlohr Stadium.
The Crusaders controlled the pace of play from the opening whistle with their passing and possession and it showed on their first goal. In the 12th minute, Capital was pushing forward after junior Tyler Wujczyk intercepted the ball near midfield and dribbled through Hanover's defense. Senior forward Chewy Gordon made a run in behind Wujczyk in the middle of the box. Wujczyk then flicked the ball to Gordon who easily slotted it home.
Tanner Korfhagen equalized less than a minute later with a breakaway score but Capital was back on top three minutes after that. After a throw from Greg Knox put the Crusaders deep into Hanover's territory, a pass from Luke Morais that was intended to go to the outside was deflected off of a Hanover player. The bouncing ball landed right in the path of Wujczyk who fired a rocket from 30 yards out into the back of the net. The goal was the first of six unanswered scores for Capital.
In the 23rd minute, Gordon scored his second of the match off of a throw from Knox, a header at the back post. Gordon now has four goals in two games after netting a brace in Capital's 4-3 win over Wabash on Sept. 2. Less than two minutes later, Knox added a second assist with a long pass from the sideline that found the feet of Morais at the back post. Morais then converted his first score of the season with a tap. After tying the single-season record of 11 assists in 2017, Knox already has five helpers in 2018.
After a scoreless period of about 20 minutes, Capital found their offensive groove again just before halftime with two goals in the span on two minutes. In the 43rd minute, Nick Scharfenberger won a ball in the left corner before sending it towards goal. Again, a Crusader was wide open in the middle, this time Tristan Bentley, and he calmly guided it in. in the 45th, Andrew McEwen scored on a free kick from 20 yards out with a low ball in the left corner.
The Crusaders took 10 shots in the opening half to Hanover's six.
Three minutes into the second half, Capital scored its final goal of the game, a shot from Jamie Robson that took a deflection but still looped over the keeper and into the right side of the net. Hanover converted a penalty in the 90th minute to reach the final score.
The Crusaders ended up getting outshot 18-14 in the game and Hanover had an 8-2 advantage in corners. Capital was content to sit back in the second half and allow the Panthers to come to them as the team mixed in younger players.
Senior Logan Wiedman made his first start of the season in goal for Capital and made four saves while allowing one goal before making way for newcomer Pedro Garcia in the 79th minute. Garcia made two saves in his 11 minutes of action.
Capital has now scored 11 goals in two games and the seven goals are the most Capital has scored in a game since the Crusaders beat Defiance College 8-0 on Sept. 23, 2007.
The Purple and White will have a quick turnaround with another home contest at Purmort Field at Bernlohr Stadium on Saturday against Waynesburg University (Pa.). That game will conclude the 2018 Fred Myers-adidas Challenge and is scheduled to kick off at 5 p.m.