By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
COLUMBUS, Ohio – When Capital Women's Lacrosse needed big plays most, multiple Crusaders stepped up to make key plays that helped preserve a 13-11 victory over Wittenberg University at Bernlohr Stadium on Wednesday night. Three different players tallied a hat trick while goalie Lisa Lotz stood on her head in the final minutes, leading to the Crusaders third win of the season.
Sophomore Dana Stover (Delaware, Ohio/Olentangy) built the Capital lead to four goals, its largest of the game, with her third tally of the night, but with 16:25 remaining on the clock, the Tigers made a push to make this game closer than it had been trending. With scores by Wittenberg's Gabby Zysik and Josee Clayton within 11 seconds of one another, the Tigers closed the gap to two, 10-8. Junior Brianna Rampi (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby) also locked up a hat trick in the latter half of the second, which helped break up the momentum Witt began to build. But Clayton and Emily Wadds scored twice more to create just a one-goal lead for Cap.
Under eight minutes remained on the clock when the Tigers drew within a single score but junior Kat Walton (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington North) took it upon herself to control the next draw and take it the rest of the way. A foul set her up for a free position shot that led to her third goal of the game, and the eventual game winner. The Tigers were not quite done and again responded with a quick tally to draw back to within one, 12-11.
The Lisa Lotz Show began at the turn of the 55th minute when Witt came down the field and tried to set up a play behind the Capital cage. Lotz (Lynchburg, Va./Jefferson Forrest) saw it coming and stuck her stick in the air to intercept the pass flying over the goal. That caused turnover directly turned into Cap's 13th and final goal of the contest when the Crusaders sent it upfield, setting up Stover to drive and be fouled. Her free position shot from the goalie's left side put Cap up by two with 4:03 remaining.
Capital was forced to play one player down for most of the final three minutes after Brooke Overly took a yellow card for a check to the head, but her teammates picked her up with solid defensive play. Lotz continued to come up big when she stopped not one but two Wittenberg free position shot attempts off the sticks of Madeline Stock and Rachel Bernard. On Bernard's shot, Lotz saved it but the loose ball was picked up by Emily Wadds. Wadds drew contact with Brooke Delara, causing a loose ball which Walton immediately swarmed and collected before being fouled. Cap kept the ball out of Witt's hands for the duration and held on for the victory, 13-11.
The Crusaders went goal for goal with the Tigers throughout the first half but went on a four-goal tear to close out the half. With two goals from Delara and one from both Rampi and Stover, Capital took a 7-4 lead into the break and then came back out to score the first goal of the second half.
The defense was present throughout having induced 27 turnovers while the Purple and White offense committed just 18. Lisa Lotz made 12 saves in the win, marking the third time she has made 10 or more stops in her last four games.
Wittenberg (3-4) was led by Josee Clayton's five goals while Wadds had a four-point day behind two goals and two assists. She also controlled the draw with 13 draw controls to help Witt hold a 20-6 advantage as a team in that category. However, the Tigers went just 2-for-7 on free position shot attempts.
The Crusaders were led by Stover's four goal-night, though Walton had a five-point performance behind three goals and two helpers. The junior also posted six ground balls, two draw controls and four caused turnovers.
Capital will now prep for a road trip to Kentucky when the Crusaders take on the Colonels of Centre College on Saturday, March 16. Game time is set for 12 p.m. from South Campus Field.