By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Capital University Women's Lacrosse has made the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament for the third year in a row and will take its 13-2 overall record and 6-2 conference record to John Carroll University for the tournament semifinals. The Blue Streaks (14-2, 7-1 OAC) were one of the two teams to beat the Crusaders during the regular season but Capital will have a chance to get some revenge on Tuesday night in University Heights.
Tuesday. May 1 | Time TBA | Don Shula Stadium (University Heights, Ohio)
HOW WE GOT HERE
Capital and John Carroll had similar regular seasons as each team finished with only two losses. Capital started the season 7-0 before dropping its OAC opener against JCU in overtime. The Crusaders got back on track with three wins before dropping its second game against the University of Mount Union. The Crusaders then finished the season with three wins by a combined score of 67-5.
John Carroll won its first eight games of the year before also coming up short against Mount Union, JCU's only conference loss. The Blue Streaks then won their next three contests before losing to Denison University and then finished the regular season with three wins.
THE LAST TIME THEY MET
The first meeting between these teams on March 24 at Purmort Field at Bernlohr Stadium was a nail-biting affair that ended with a 12-11 John Carroll overtime win. The two teams went back and forth in the first half of the game and the Crusaders finished the first 30 minutes on top 9-8. In the second half, John Carroll had a 3-2 advantage and went up 11-9. Kara Hines (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Kilbourne) and Kathryn Walton (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington Central) scored for the Crusaders to tie the game at 11 at the end of regulation. In overtime, Gina Vilsack scored her third goal of the game just 21 seconds into the sudden-victory period to hand Capital its first loss of the season. Hines scored her 200th career goal in that game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
The Crusader's explosive offense is one of the most balanced in the conference with six players who have more than 40 points and five with more than 50. Regan Hanood (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington North) leads the team with 85 points (22 goals, 63 assists) and is fourth in the conference in that category. Walton is fourth in the conference with 60 goals and Hines has found the back of the net 54 times for her fourth-straight 50-goal season. Goalkeeper Lisa Lotz (Lynchburg, Va./Jefferson Forest) has a 13-2 record and 8.27 goals against average, the third-best mark in the conference, and has 68 saves.
The Blue Streaks have an impressive group of offensive leaders with four players who have accumulated more than 70 points and two players have more than 100 points. Grace Curatolo leads the OAC with 117 points with 50 goals and a league-leading 67 assists. Vilsack is third in the conference with 107 points and leads the conference with 79 goals. Elyssa Zablo has started 13 games in goal for the Blue Streaks and has made 90 saves while giving up 9.84 goals per game.
KEY STATS TO WATCH
Goals: John Carroll, 2nd (316) – Capital, 3rd (266)
Assists: John Carroll, 2nd (165) – Capital, 3rd (162)
Goals per game: John Carroll, 2nd (19.75) – Capital, 3rd (17.73)
Goals allowed: Capital, 2nd (99) – John Carroll, 3rd (131)
Goals against average: Capital, 2nd (6.60) – John Carroll, 3rd (8.18)
WHAT LIES AHEAD
The winner of this contest will advance to the OAC Championship on Saturday and will meet the winner of No. 1 Mount Union and No. 4 Baldwin Wallace University. Those two teams are playing on Wednesday evening.
TOURNAMENT ADMISSION PRICES
Single Event/ Championship Saturday - $8
Seniors (62)/Military - $6
OAC Students - Free
Non-OAC Students - $3
OAC Lifetime Passes will be honored for all championships (regular-season passes will not)