Women’s Lax Advances to OAC Final with Win Over Baldwin Wallace

Dana Stover (pictured) and the Crusaders will go to the OAC Tournament Championship for the third time in four years. (credit: Joe Maiorana)
Dana Stover (pictured) and the Crusaders will go to the OAC Tournament Championship for the third time in four years. (credit: Joe Maiorana)

By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Capital University women's lacrosse team will be heading to the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament Championship for the third time in four years following its 16-12 victory over Baldwin Wallace University on Wednesday night.

Capital will be heading to Alliance to take on the University of Mount Union for a second time this season, this time to vie for the conference tournament championship and a spot in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. This is now the third time Capital had advanced to the OAC title game, each time against the Purple Raiders at Mount Union Stadium. Game time from Alliance has been set for 7 p.m.

The rematch between Baldwin Wallace and Capital went a little differently the second time around in that the Yellow Jackets kept it closer than the previous 10-goal decision back on March 23. What did carry over is Capital's tight defense shutting down the Yellow Jackets.

Baldwin Wallace (9-7 overall) committed 18 turnovers in the first half alone and finished the game with 31, serving as a primary cause for defeat. The Crusaders pressured the BW advance, leading the Yellow Jackets to finish 3-of-13 on clearance attempts in the first half. With Capital in control of the rock for much of the first half, it was no surprise that the Purple and White held a 23-10 shot advantage that fed into an 8-5 halftime lead.

Despite Baldwin Wallace getting on the board first, Kathryn Walton (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington Central) jumpstarted another spectacular performance with Cap's first goal of the game and then another to tie it up, 2-2. Her second goal, which was scored off of a turnover in the middle of the field off the goalie's entry pass, started a chain of five unanswered Capital goals. Amid that run, she finished off the hat trick with a man-up goal at the midway point. Senior Makenna Ozenghar scored twice in that run and before the 15-minute mark Cap had built a 6-2 lead.

Three different BW players scored goals before the end of the half and were combated by Walton's fourth goal and Brooke Delara's first, leading to an 8-5 CU halftime lead.

As the first half started, so did the second with BW's Brie Martineau scoring the kick it off. While the Yellow Jackets fared better in transition, they still maintained issues turning the ball over. Again they were outshot and outscored with the only thing keeping them close to the Crusaders was its free-position shooting. BW went 4-for-5 off the arc, but Capital kept the pressure on an equaled their first-half output.

Brianna Rampi (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby) got into the scoring column with a goal and shortly after Ozenghar completed her hat trick to grow the lead to 10-6. The goal of the night came shortly after followed by a piece of history for the CU program. Walton's fifth and final goal dazzled the fans at Bernlohr Stadium when broke through the BW defense by spinning through a small gap to create space and buried the shot. Less than one minute later, Walton caused a turnover that led to another Capital goal but it served an important moment in Cap history. With that caused turnover, Walton became the first CU women's lacrosse player to hit 100 caused turnovers in a career.

While Baldwin Wallace mustered a small 3-0 run to bring them to within three goals of Cap, Delara combated that with her third goal of the night and with time winding down Rampi and Taylor Barclay added a man-up goal each after the Yellow Jackets were tagged with a pair of yellow cards. Capital's defense kept BW off the board for an 11-minute stretch in the second half leading into the final horn.

Walton and Ozenghar both finished with five caused turnovers and combined for nine goals and three assists. Walton also posted nine ground ball and five draw controls to lead the team in both categories. Delara had a five-point night behind three goals and two helpers. Also getting goals were Rampi (2), Barclay (1) and Dana Stover (1). Freshman Luci Kanowski ended with two assists.

Between the pipes, Lisa Lotz got the win after making three saves. Her counterpart, Ashleigh Hildreth, was under heavy fire and made 15 saves.