By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Throw all the talk of easing into the season out the window as Capital University Women's Soccer shot out of a cannon to start the 2018 campaign with a 4-1 win over Wittenberg University on Friday night.
Four different Crusaders found the back of the net in a game that Capital controlled from start to finish, especially in the first half. Capital controlled the tempo and action from the opening kickoff and were rewarded with the lead 15 minutes in.
With the Crusaders out on the counter-attack, junior forward Jordan Fike sprinted through the middle of the pitch towards goal. As it became apparent that Fike had the inside track to goal, freshman midfielder Casey King laced a pass in Fike's path, allowing the junior to sprint past her defender. With only the goalkeeper in her way, Fike smoothly tapped the ball over the keeper for Capital's first goal of the season.
In the first half, the Crusaders outshot the Tigers 8-1 and held a 3-0 advantage in corners.
That trend continued in the second half with Capital pouring in three more scores. The first came in the 58th minute after freshman Olivia Rotolo earned a penalty. On a Capital attack, Rotolo received the ball at the edge of the box and dribbled goalward. Wittenberg's keeper then came out to challenge Rotolo and made enough contact for the referee to signal to the spot. Junior Allyssa Kimbler was tasked with taking the penalty and she buried it in the bottom right-hand corner.
Capital's next goal came off of a set piece, a free kick from Bridget Mallin, in the 61st minute. Mallin went for goal from outside of the box and converted into the left side of the goal to give the Crusaders a 3-0 lead. The final Capital goal of the contest came from Carlee Murry after a scramble in front of Wittenberg's net that resulted in the ball finding its way to the back of the net.
The Tigers scored a consolation goal in the 87th minute but it was too late to mount a comeback. Sophomore goalkeeper Kelly Bachmann was asked to make only two saves for the Crusaders as she earned her first victory of the year.
As a team, Capital outshot the Tigers 14-6. Fike led the team with five shots and Murry, King and Mallin each attempted two. Wittenberg ended up with a 5-4 advantage in corners but Capital's defense was strong throughout the contest.
The Crusaders did not score four or more goals until Oct. 10 last season and accomplished the feat only twice in 2017. The team will look to carry over its hot streak when it travels to Thomas More College (Ky.) on Wednesday, Sept. 5. Kickoff for that contest is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.