Crusaders Shutout the Lions on Home Turf

Midfielder Maura Fortino. (Andrea Kjerrumgaard photo)
Midfielder Maura Fortino. (Andrea Kjerrumgaard photo)


COLUMBUS – The Capital University women's soccer team rekindled its winning ways on Friday, protecting home turf vs. Mount St. Joseph in a 2-0 victory.

In the first half, the Crusaders set the tone early with five shots in the first twelve minutes of play.

Another handful of shots on goal followed before Capital senior Hilary Ells nearly netted a shot with her back foot inside the box, but the Lions defense was able to clear the attack just before the ball entered the goal.

However, just three minutes later, sophomore Jamie Murray netted the team's first goal on a shot that came off an assist from senior Livvy Hein, giving the Crusaders an early 1-0 advantage.

Following Murray's goal, the Crusaders managed to keep the pressure on their opposition, striking four of their next six shots on goal, but none of them resulted in a score, leaving Capital leading 1-0 at halftime.

With the second half underway, the Crusaders looked to capitalize more often than they did in the opening frame, which eventually led to a textbook score to extend the lead.

In the 62nd minute, junior Jessie Cermelj initiated the attack, finding a seam to feed an excellent cross inside the twelve to sophomore Maura Fortino for a one touch shot into the net from the far right side.

"We were able to work the ball better out of the back than we had in past games," said head coach Chris Kouns. "That was one of our priorities this week, and Corey (McClellan), Lauren (Roy), Michelle (Geiger), Mariah (Richards) and Claire (Quinn) kept things moving and made good decisions with the ball at their feet."

The goal by Fortino proved to be the final goal of the game, as Capital shutout Mount St. Joseph, 2-0.

With the shutout victory, it is the fourth of the season for the Crusaders, and third in their last four games.

"With the teams we have faced in three of the last four games who bunkered in on us, we have been working to move the ball with just one or two touches," Kouns said. "As a result, we want to be able to break down our opposition. Unfortunately we missed a golden opportunity this evening for us to improve overall as an attacking team."

Leading the way for the Crusaders was Murray, who scored her fifth goal of the season, while Fortino recorded her first goal of the year.

"I was pleased with the composure that both Jamie (Murray) and Maura (Fortino) showed finishing their chances," Kouns said. "I was especially pleased to see their success around the goal."

Hein and Cermelj accounted for the pair of assists for the Crusaders, recording their second and first assists of the season respectively.

Senior goalkeeper Maggie Donnellan also earned her sixth victory of the season.

In total, the Crusaders tallied 11 of their 27 shots on goal, while seven players recorded two or more shots in the game.

Capital (6-2-1) has now won six of its last seven games, en route to Kouns' 75th career victory as a college head coach.

"Our team is pleased that we were able to get back on the right side of the score sheet today," Kouns said. "It is important not to compound poor results as you prepare for the conference schedule and I am pleased we passed that test."

With one last tune up before Ohio Athletic Conference play opens up the first weekend of October, the Crusaders wrap up their non-conference schedule against Kenyon on Oct. 2 at 5 p.m.