Capital Will Return to Championship Match After Defeating BW in OT

Capital Will Return to Championship Match After Defeating BW in OT

COLUMBUS, OhioMariah Richards plugged home the game-winning goal just 42 seconds into overtime to propel Capital into the Ohio Athletic Conference Women's Soccer Tournament championship match. Capital defeated Baldwin Wallace University, 1-0, on Wednesday night inside Bernlohr Stadium.

After a scoreless 90 minutes, Capital kept its momentum that it had built over the last 10 minutes of regulation. The Crusaders finished the half by taking the final four shots of the half, including goal-scoring opportunities by Mary Bushee, Chloe Brown, and Maura Fortino.

Capital kept the pressure coming by driving down the field and feeding the ball into the box on the Baldwin Wallace end. Claire Quinn made the feed and Morgan Austin implemented the screen that allowed senior Mariah Richards (Canton, Ohio) to take the shot from close range. Richards got just enough of the ball to beat BW keeper Emily Tallmadge to score the golden goal, giving Capital the victory. For Richards, it was her fourth goal of the year.

The Crusaders' victory sets up a return trip to the OAC Tournament championship match, which will pit top-seeded Capital against the second-seeded Ohio Northern Polar Bears. Ohio Northern defeated John Carroll University, 3-0, to set up the match.

The first half provided few opportunities for either side to score. At halftime, Capital had a slight edge on the Yellow Jackets in shots taken, 5-3.

Monique Hanayik (Sidney, Ohio) posted the most thrilling scoring chance of the second half when Allison Mervau maneuvered inside the box and then tapped a touch pass to her teammate. Hanayik put a good boot to it and the ball was heading inside the far post, but Tallmadge tipped the ball while diving to her left, allowing it to fly just wide of the BW cage.

Claire Quinn (Coto de Caza, Calif.) kept the pressure on with another strong strike from20 yards out less than one minute later, but her shot sailed wide to the same side.

Capital's defense clamped down on the Yellow Jackets, allowing just two shot attempts in the second half, allowing them to total five over the course of the match. Senior Kim Leitch (Rocky River, Ohio) kept the Yellow Jackets off of the board, making four saves as part of her fifth shutout of the season.

Capital and Ohio Northern will meet on Saturday for a 4 p.m. start from Bernlohr Stadium. The Crusaders seek their third straight OAC Tournament Championship and NCAA Division III Tournament appearance.