Polar Bears and Crusaders Ready for OAC Championship Showdown

Polar Bears and Crusaders Ready for OAC Championship Showdown

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Capital University women's soccer team is set to host Ohio Northern University in the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament finals on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Bernlohr Stadium.

After finishing with an unblemished conference record for the first time in program history, the Crusaders clinched the No. 1 seed in the conference postseason tournament. The Polar Bears earned the No. 2 seed after finishing the season with two conference losses.

ROAD TO THE OAC FINALS

Capital (14-4-0, 9-0-0 OAC) comes into Saturday's match with a chance at a three-peat, having won the tournament championship that past two seasons.

Following a first-round bye, the Crusaders earned a trip to the conference tournament championship game after winning, 1-0, against No. 4 Baldwin Wallace in its semifinal match.

In their overtime victory against the Yellow Jackets, senior midfielder Mariah Richards (Canton, Ohio) found the back of the net following a corner kick from Claire Quinn (Coto de Caza, Calif.).

Ohio Northern (12-7-1, 7-2 OAC) advanced to the championship match for the first time since 2012, defeating No. 6 John Carroll, 3-0.  Senior Alex Weirich put on a show for the crowd at Kerscher Stadium, scoring two goals. Shelby Stephens added the third goal and a pair of assists.

PREVIOUS MEETINGS

The Crusaders and Polar Bears last met in the postseason in 2010 when the two teams competed in the OAC championship match, a match in which Ohio Northern edged Capital, 3-2, in overtime. Since then, the squads have met on six occasions with Ohio Northern holding the advantage with a 4-2-0 record.

The Crusaders emerged victorious on in their last matchup with the Polar Bears on Oct. 17.  It took double-overtime, but the match was finally decided as senior Maura Fortino, (Philadelphia, Pa.) scored the golden goal by way of a penalty kick. The opportunity was set up when Ohio Northern was whistled for a foul inside the 100th minute. Capital's defense was tough, only allowing only six shots on goal.

CAPITAL'S HOME SUCCESS

The Crusaders are 7-0-1 in their last eight OAC Tournament games in which they have hosted. Two of those matches were OAC Championship victories.

SEASON LEADERS FOR CAPITAL

Junior forward Becca Cartmill (Temecula, Calif.) leads the way for the Crusader offense, tying for third in the OAC with 10 goals. She also leads Capital in points (21), shots (54), shots on goal (31), and game-winners (3).

Monique Hanayik (Sidney, Ohio) has also proved to be an important piece in Capital's attack with six goals and 15 points. The sophomore forward has taken 35 shots, 19 on goal while also adding an assist.

Senior goalkeeper Kim Leitch (Rocky River, Ohio) has established herself as one of the top keepers in the conference this season. Leitch is second in the OAC in goals against (10) and goals-against average (0.90). Her 76.7 save percentage is also in the top five.

As a team, the Crusaders rank fourth in goals (41), assists (24), goals against (22), and shot percentage (.127). Capital has compiled an 8-2 record at Bernlohr Stadium this season.

SEASON LEADERS FOR OHIO NORTHERN

Stephens paces Ohio Northern with 63 shots, 38 shots on goal, and 10 goals. Her 11 assists lead the conference and her 31 points ranks second.

Forward McKenna Welsh has been called upon to step into the starting lineup in 14 matches as a freshman, racking up seven goals. Welsh also tallied 41 shots, 17 on goal, 14 points, and a pair of game-winners.

Senior keeper Emily Brodict has started all 20 matches for the Polar Bears, making 64 saves with 19 goals against. Her seven shutouts are the best in the OAC.

Ohio Northern has registered 282 shots, 39 goals, 22 assists, 20 goals against, and a shot percentage of .138. The Polar Bears are 4-4-1 in road matches.

TICKET INFORMATION

General Admission - $7

OAC Students (with valid ID) – FREE

Non-OAC students 18 years and under - $2

Seniors (62 years and older) - $5

OAC lifetime passes will be honored (regular season passes will not)