Cartmill, Atkins Play Heroine Role in Crusaders’ Comeback Win

Pictured: Becca Cartmill (photo credit: Jeff Mills)
Pictured: Becca Cartmill (photo credit: Jeff Mills)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Capital University women's soccer team worked hard to create many scoring chances and their efforts paid off in the final third. Becca Cartmill and Taylor Atkins both scored goals to overcome a one-score deficit late in Friday evenings' match against Waynesburg University.

With a tie game dwindling down inside the final minutes, Capital's pressure began breaking down the Yellow Jackets' defense. Though many scoring chances went to the wayside, Atkins' score in the final 65 seconds helped complete a come-from-behind effort by the Crusaders.

After an attempt to cross the ball inside the box was deflected away by Waynesburg, it set the table for a corner kick that was the precursor to the game-deciding goal. Shelby Johnson took the corner, lofted the ball toward the top of the box, and then saw it headed into traffic by Cartmill (Temecula, Calif.). After bouncing around through traffic, Amanda Kachaylo turned and fired a shot that was blocked down, but Atkins (Bethel, Ohio) stepped up and put a boot on the loose ball that rolled into the back of the cage. With a little over one minute remaining, Capital had its first lead of the game and held it to the end.

The game winner could only be because of Cartmill's goal in the 80th minute. On another occasion where a loose ball bounced the right way, Capital tied the match with Cartmill's team-leading fourth goal of the season. Mariah Richards played the ball into the goal box where Waynesburg keeper Courtney Zofcin came out to challenge it. Cartmill and Zofcin endured a small collision that caused the loose ball. Cartmill turned to find it, turned again to gain position, and sent in the equalizing shot to the near corner of the goal.

Speaking on Cartmill's effort, head coach Chris Kouns said, "I thought that Becca [Cartmill] was beyond clutch.  Her defending and her desire to do whatever it took to win was inspiring."

Much of the second half was under Capital's control with its offense creating many opportunities to score. The Crusaders held advantages in shots (11-9) and corner kicks taken (11-7) leading to the eventual takeover of the game.

"I was very pleased with several individual efforts this evening. I thought Mariah [Richards] was really sound no matter where I moved her on the field.  To Waynesburg's credit they came at us with a great deal of fight and intensity, and Becca [Cartmill] and Mariah, along with a few others, answered the bell.  The fact we were able to get the result we should have gotten tonight was a direct result of their efforts and a couple others."

The effort was not flawless, however, with the go-ahead goal Waynesburg scored midway through the first half. Karleigh Murphey was the first to mark up the scoreboard with a shot that trailed over Alexis Brand from the outer edge of the box.

Commenting on what put the Crusaders at an early disadvantage, Kouns said, "On the flip side I was not pleased with the focus and effort of our team as a whole.  We are talented but at times we are still soft and lacking in our overall competitiveness.  If we want to really move towards achieving our potential we must have a consistent group of nine or 10 players doing what they do best every game and every training session."

Other notable performance included sophomore goalkeeper Alexis Brand (Orlando, Fla.), who earned her first collegiate win behind four saves. It was also her first start for the Crusaders.

Entering the match, Waynesburg had been unbeaten in four contests this season. The Yellow Jackets split time between goalkeepers, giving Ciara Scott the start. Zofcin came in at the half and earned the loss, her first decision and action of the year.

Capital (4-1-0) will next host nationally-ranked Carnegie Mellon University at Bernlohr Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 14. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.

Carnegie Mellon jumped into the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Top-25 Poll by defeating the defending national champion, William Smith College. The Tartans are now 5-0-0 and have outscored their competition 20-3 this season.  They are currently ranked sixth in the country.

"Going forward we must begin to find a stronger personality and identity," said Kouns. "At this level we want to complete at it is not good enough to just show up. After the year we had last season, everyone we play will bring their very best and although a good portion of this team was not involved in the run last year, we are going to have to fight as if we were."