By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
ALLIANCE, Ohio – Looking at the schedule before the season, it was not hard to see scenarios where the clash between Capital University Women's Lacrosse and the University of Mount Union Purple Raiders could very well decide the winner of the Ohio Athletic Conference regular season title. Two months later and 11 games in, that was the exact situation that played out on Saturday in Alliance but a second-half surge by Mount Union was enough to defeat Capital 15-10 to remain the only unbeaten team in the conference.
The game went back-and-forth for the entire first half with each team able to respond after another's score. Mount Union took the lead the first four times but the Crusaders responded with tying goals after each one before Capital got its first lead, 5-4, with 10 minutes left in the first half. Again, Mount Union answered and took a 6-5 lead although two unanswered goals from Capital put the Crusaders ahead once again. The Purple Raiders tied the game at seven with 39 seconds remaining in the first half but Kathryn Walton's fourth goal of the day sent the Crusaders into the break with an 8-7 advantage.
The second half started as well as it could have for Mount Union though with four unanswered goals and a 6-1 run for the Purple Raiders that put Cap behind 13-9 with 18 minutes left.
Neither team found the back of the net over the next 11 minutes until Taylor Thomas (Massillon, Ohio/Jackson) pulled one back before the Purple Raiders responded yet again.
Walton (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington Central) and Thomas each found the back of the net four times to lead the Crusaders and Thomas also had four assists. Thomas scored both of Capital's second-half goals. Makenna Ozenghar (Youngstown, Ohio/Cardinal Mooney) and Taylor Barclay (Granville, Ohio/Granville) were the other Capital scorers. Ozenghar led the team with eight ground balls and eight draw controls. Ashley Bernardi had a game-high five goals for Mount Union.
For the first time this season, Kara Hines (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Kilbourne) was kept off of the scoresheet as the senior was limited to only two shots. Coming off a program record-tying 13-point performance, Regan Hanood (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington North) was limited to only two assists.
The Crusaders outshot Mount Union 39-28 but Mimi Curtis made 18 saves in goal for the Purple Raiders.
Despite the loss, Capital still certainly has a chance to finish with the OAC regular season crown. The Crusaders will host their final home game of the season on Saturday April 21 against Heidelberg University at 1 p.m. before ending the regular season with three road contests.