Capital Narrowly Edges Transylvania in Season-Opening Win

Pictured: Makenna Ozenghar (photo credit: Jamie Gaffney)
Pictured: Makenna Ozenghar (photo credit: Jamie Gaffney)

By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Capital University Women's Lacrosse showed that the Crusaders will not back down from any challenge in 2019 by opening the new season with a hard-fought 6-5 win over Transylvania University (Ky.) on Saturday afternoon.

The Pioneers lost only twice in 2018 and scored 14 goals in their first game of this year but Capital proved why it is one of the Ohio Athletic Conference's elite teams by locking down on defense and finding the back of the net at key times.

Transylvania scored the first two goals of the game off of free position shots before senior midfielder Makenna Ozenghar (Youngstown, Ohio/Cardinal Mooney) scored Capital's first goal of the season. The Pioneers then scored again to go up 3-1 with only 3:38 left to play in the first half but the Crusaders roared back to close the period.

Brianna Rampi (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby) converted a shot off a pass from Brooke Delara (Lewis Center, Ohio/Olentangy Orange) less than 30 seconds after the Transylvania goal and junior midfielder Kathryn Walton (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington Central) tied the game at 3-3 while Capital had the man-advantage.

Just 17 seconds later, with 58 ticks on the first-half clock, senior Taylor Barclay (Granville, Ohio/Granville) gave Capital its first lead of the afternoon off of another assist from Delara. Capital took 12 first-half shots to Transylvania's 11 while Capital won more draw controls, had fewer turnovers and was more successful on clears.

The second half started as a defensive battle as neither team was able to score for almost eight minutes until Ozenghar fed Walton for another man-up score. Both teams again showed their defensive prowess as neither team found the back of the net for 10 minutes until Salem Carlow cut Capital's lead to one with 12:39 to play.

Two minutes later, Ozenghar netted her second score of the game off of a free position shot to again put the Crusaders up two. Carlow again responded for Transylvania but again, Capital's defense clamped down and held the Pioneers scoreless for the rest of the game to preserve the 6-5 win.

Ozenghar and Walton both finished with two goals while Ozenghar added an assist to lead the Crusaders with three points. Carlow scored three times for Transylvania and Courtney Pontious scored twice. Ozenghar also led Capital with five draw controls. Walton and Brooke Overly (Youngstown, Ohio/Cardinal Mooney) led Capital's field players with three ground balls each.

Both goalkeepers were kept busy despite the lack of scoring as Capital's senior keeper Lisa Lotz (Lynchburg, Va./Jefferson Forest) made six saves and Mackenzie Dent stopped 14 shots for the Pioneers, nine in the second half. Thanks to Dent's strong play in net, the Crusaders went only 2-for-11 on free position shots in the game.

Capital finished the game with an 8-5 advantage in draw controls, a 22-18 lead in ground balls, a 26-18 lead in shots and had 14 turnovers to Transylvania's 18. The Pioneers also committed 30 fouls while Capital was only whistled for 13. The Crusaders went 16-for-17 on clear attempts and Transylvania went 18-for-24.

The Crusaders will now have a week to prepare for their second game of the season when the College of Wooster comes to Capital on Saturday, Feb. 23. That game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start at Purmort Field at Bernlohr Stadium.