By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
CLEVELAND, Ohio – Capital University Men's Soccer is moving on in the 2018 NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament after defeating Westminster College (Pa.) 3-1 on Saturday in the tournament's first round. The win is the second national tournament win in program history.
The Crusaders got out to an early lead that was eventually lost but a second-half turnaround fueled Capital to victory. Tied 1-1 in the 59th minute, Capital was on the offensive pushing for the go-ahead score. Following a free kick near midfield, defender Cole Moscovic chased the ball towards the left corner of the field but was taken down from behind in the box, earning Cap a penalty. Daniel Bundschuh then calmly stepped up to the spot and buried it in the corner of the net to put the Crusaders ahead.
Capital then increased the lead in the 65th minute when a shot from Jamie Robson was deflected by a defender but not cleared. Nick Scharfenberger was where he needed to be in front of goal and redirected it past Westminster's keeper to grow the lead to two.
Capital then further increased the lead with a looping goal from freshman Sam Spirk that sailed over the keeper's head in the 80th minute.
For the game, Capital was outshot 17-14 but senior Logan Wiedman was strong in goal with six saves.
The Crusaders struck first in the 13th minute. Known more for assisting goals, defender Greg Knox found the back of the net from 55 yards out with a shot that forced Westminster's goalkeeper to backpedal towards his line. The ball was still too high and it bounced off of the keeper's hand and into the net. The goal was the first of Knox's career.
The lead stood for 22 minutes but 10 minutes before halftime, the Titans drew level. After building play through the middle, Westminster sent the ball down the left side to Nick Iregui. Iregui then cut inside and left it for Peter Mattocks 30 yards away from the Capital goal. Mattocks juked left to beat a defender and then ripped a left-footed shot that rippled the net.
The Titans managed 10 shots in the first half to Capital's eight but the Crusaders had more high-quality chances. Freshman Sam Spirk had two golden chances to put Capital back ahead but could not convert and the Crusaders had three corners they were not able to capitalize on.
In the second half, Capital came out on the front foot and pushed play on offense before it paid off in the form of the three goals.
With the win, Capital moves on to play No. 8 Case Western Reserve University in the second round of the tournament. Kickoff at DiSanto Field is scheduled for 1 p.m.