Tournament Run Comes to a Halt for Women’s Soccer

Photo credit: Tim Janz
Photo credit: Tim Janz

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Capital University Women's Soccer had its streak of consecutive Ohio Athletic Conference tournament championships come to an end after its loss to the University of Mount Union on Thursday night. The Purple Raiders beat the Crusaders, 3-2, on Purmort Field at Bernlohr Stadium in the OAC Tournament Semifinals.

Just by being in the semi-final match, Mount Union (11-6-3) had advanced to that level for just the second time in team history and the first since 1995. Their win over Capital (9-8-1) stamps their first trip to the OAC title game in school history. Mount Union entered the tournament the number three seed while Capital earned a first-round bye as the second seed. The loss ends a run of three straight OAC championships for Capital.

The match started positively for Capital with pressure being placed on Mount Union goalkeeper Paige Freel. Junior Caroline Hester (Milford, Ohio) was busy in front of the Mount Union cage, tossing in two shots that were blocked down by the Mount Union defense. The second set up a corner kick, taken by senior Claire Quinn (Coto de Caza, Calif.). Quinn lofted it in front of the Mount Union keeper where Hester timed her leap and lightly headed it to the keeper's left and into the goal.

The goal served as Hester's fourth of the season. Quinn was awarded the assist, her fifth of the year.

Heading into the 25th minute, Mount Union had not recorded a shot against the Purple and White. Nicole Lanese then delivered the first blow to tie up the contest. Lanese dribbled into Capital territory and was being defended tightly, but escaped the pressure and delivered a strike from nearly 30 yards out to the nearside post. The ball beat a diving Hannah Klotzsche (Avon, Ind.) high and to her right for Lanese's 20th goal of the season.

The 1-1 tie stood going into halftime, but Capital made sure that did not last long. Capital struck quickly coming out of the locker room when senior Mary Bushee (San Marcos, Calif.) notched her second goal of the season. Bushee received a pass from freshman Jordan Fike (Powell, Ohio), placing her inside the box to the keeper's right. She then launched to the near post and found the back of the net to give Cap a 2-1 lead in the 46th minute.

Ten minutes later, Mount Union tied the game for a second time when Lanese struck again. This time, the Purple Raiders were moving in transition following a turnover in the middle of the field.

Lanese completed her second hat trick of the season when in the 79th minute slipped the defense and Katie Goedecke passed her the ball. Lanese's first shot was challenged and blocked down by Klotzsche, but she collected the rebound and put it away for what would become the eventual game-winning goal. With her three goals, Lanese now has a league-best 22 scores on the season.  

After peppering the Mount Union side of the field with 13 shots, Capital outdid itself in the second half with 15. Of those 28 total shots, eight landed on frame. Seven of Mount Union's eight shots came in the second half. All three of Klotzsche's saves came in the second, as well.

While Capital's tournament run has come to an end, the outside chance of earning an at-large bid exists and will be revealed during the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Tournament Selection Show that will air on Monday, Nov. 7, at 1:30 p.m.