COLUMBUS, Ohio – Friday marked the first day of the Capital University Women's Soccer Invitational at Bernlohr Stadium. A barrage of goals littered the second half of Friday afternoon's matchup between the Milwaukee School of Engineering (Wisc.) and Capital University. The nationally-ranked Crusaders scored all four of their goals in the second half and each by a different player in their 4-3 win over the Raiders.
While the Crusaders poured on their offense in the second half, it was every bit of a battle to determine a victor.
"There are positives and negatives from every game you play and this one was no different," said head coach Chris Kouns.
The Raiders (1-1) took an early one-goal lead and held it going into the half. The Raiders' goal came from Caitlyn Liddiard, her first of two on the day. She fought off multiple Capital defenders and launched a shot to the upper-right corner of the cage, falling just out of the reach of an outstretched Kim Leitch.
Capital (3-0) came out of the locker room with vigor and scored twice to regain the advantage. Sophomore Claire Quinn scored her first goal of the season when she benefitted from a long rebound coming off of another Crusaders shot attempt that bounced off of the crossbar. Quinn acquired the rebound and created space, allowing her to rip a shot over the head of Raiders keeper, Sydney Stephens.
The tie lasted just over 10 minutes before the Crusaders marked up the scoreboard again. Amanda Kachaylo blasted a bullet through Stephens' hands and had just enough juice on it to find the far corner of the net in the 66th minute. It was her third goal of the season.
For the second time in the match, MSOE equaled the Crusaders output when Sara Travia found an opening and went to Leitch's left side with a shot that found the back of the net.
The response from Capital was quick. Just 1:09 following the Raiders' goal, Emily Krause scored her first goal as a Crusader. Her shot taken from outside the 18-yard-line flew right over Stephens' head and gave Capital a lead that would not be relinquished.
Taylor Atkins tallied what became the game-winning goal in the 84th minute. The sophomore beat her defender in a one-on-one matchup and lobbed a shot over the keeper's head for Capital's fourth goal of the afternoon. The Raiders scored once more, but did not have enough to force another tie score.
"I am extremely pleased that we were able to come out in the game and create goal scoring chances," said Kouns. "That is one of the priorities we focused on this preseason and it appears that we have been successful in beginning to establish an attacking identity. It was great to see us find four different goal scorers today. Getting Emily [Krause], Claire [Quinn], and Taylor [Atkins] in the score books, along with yet another goal from Amanda [Kachaylo] certainly gives us something to build from."
Milwaukee School of Engineering's attack was evenly paced, tallying five shots in each half.
"We have things to sure up in terms of our continuity in defending," said Kouns. "We have good players; we have capable players, but yet do not yet have them on the same page. So it is going to take a more concerted effort on the part of the coaching staff and players to gel into a defensive identity. Over the past three games the goals we have allowed have all been self-inflicted, but that is something we can correct."
Friday marked the first time this season the Crusaders trailed in a contest, though the remedy of four goals in one half of play helped Capital settle in to their third win of the season and remain undefeated heading into Saturday's match versus Allegheny College.
"Coming out of this game the fact is this team keeps finding ways to win. Despite youth, inexperience, miscues, and even tragedy, no matter what comes our way we keep finding ways to win. For a program looking to continue their growth we are focusing on the right things and heading in the right direction. In the end, that is all we can control or ask for," said Kouns.
The Crusaders will return to Bernlorh Stadium for their second match of the Invitational on Saturday afternoon. The defending North Coast Athletic Conference champion Allegheny Gators will provide them their next challenge with kickoff set for 3 p.m. Live stats and video will be provided for the match at athletics.capital.edu.
Full coverage of the Capital University Women's Soccer Invitational can be found on the home page for the tournament.