Crusaders Bow Out of OAC Tournament Behind Strong Second Half by Cardinals

Pictured: Olivia Rotolo (photo credit: Tim Janz)
Pictured: Olivia Rotolo (photo credit: Tim Janz)

By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Capital University women's soccer team was eliminated from the 2019 Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament on Thursday night following a 2-1 loss to the Otterbein University Cardinals at Bernlohr Stadium. The Crusaders were unable to hold on to an early lead after the Cardinals built a strong offensive display in the second half to yield the win.

Final statistics

Thursday's match saw a tale of two halves as Capital dominated possession and play in the first half, but the tables turned in Otterbein's favor in the second 45. Both teams connected on penalty kicks but the Cardinals' Emily Ganz made the difference with a second goal as part of Otterbein's offensive charge early in the second half.

HOW WE SCORED

  • Senior defender Alyssa Kimbler (London, Ohio/London) put the Crusaders on top in the 25th minute benefitted from a foul committed by Otterbein in the box on a takedown from the nearside.
  • Kimbler lined up for her seventh penalty kick of the season and converted it by a strong strike to the upper third. The goal was her seventh of the season.

A TALE OF TWO HALVES

  • Capital was in control for much of the first half and outshot the Cardinals 7-5 in the opening 45. They also held an advantage in corners taken, 3-1.
  • After both teams came back out of the locker rooms following the break, Otterbein used its offense to not just get back in the game but also as its best defense to hold on to the lead. The Cardinals took 16 shots to Capital's seven in the second half and landed two in the back of the net.
  • Otterbein kept the offensive pressure up even after it had taken the lead and kept the ball in Capital's defensive zone for nearly all but the final five minutes of the contest. After a mass wave of subs near the 87th minute, Capital was finally able to breach the Cardinals' defenses and have an opportunity to tie the game.

HOW THEY SCORED

  • Otterbein's first goal came off of a penalty kick to match Capital's. Following a scrum deep in the Cardinals' defensive zone the ball was kicked out by caught the forearm of a Capital player, resulting in a penalty kick awarded to Otterbein.
  • Emily Ganz took the penalty kick and buried it for her xxx goal of the season, which tied the game at one goal each.
  • Ganz and the Cardinals keep pushing the offense forward and created its own opportunity when unleashing three shots in a 10-second span at the turn of the 57th minute. Annie Mosca launched the first shot that was saved by Capital keeper Kelly Bachmann. Ganz then approached the ball and took another shot, which too was saved. The rebound bounced back out and Ganz put it home to for the eventual game-winning goal.

CLOSE, BUT NOT QUITE

  • Capital's best opportunity to tie the game came in the final 120 seconds of the contest when the Crusaders finally breached the Otterbein back line. Cap got the ball into the box and amidst multiple bodies blocking out Cardinal keeper Erin Gordon.
  • After Gordon came out to create a line of sight, Bridget Mallin cranked a shot toward the goal but an Otterbein defender stood fast and blocked down the shot, which would have otherwise landed the tying goal.
  • Capital was unable to mount another charge and the Cardinals launched the ball down to the other end of the pitch while time expired on the clock.  

SIDE NOTES

  • Capital keeper Kelly Bachmann made eight saves on the evening while her counterpart, Erin Gordon, made six.
  • Olivia Rotolo was Cap's main offensive instrument after taking a team-high six shots, three of which landed on goal.
  • As a whole, Otterbein led the shot count, 21-14, but Capital dominated corner opportunities, 8-1.

WHAT'S NEXT

  • Capital (14-6) will have to wait until Monday to see if it has a chance of being selected as an at-large team to play in the NCAA Tournament.
  • Otterbein (16-3-1) will move on to play No. 1 seed Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio on Saturday afternoon for the OAC Tournament Championship and the automatic qualifier bid.