Crusaders Put a Bow on Regular Season with Overtime Win

Crusaders Put a Bow on Regular Season with Overtime Win
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Capital University women's soccer team will head into next week's Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament with two straight victories under its belt following Saturday's overtime win against Baldwin Wallace University. Mariah Richards headed home the game-winning goal in the 98th minute to seal the win and a first-round home game in the opening round of next week's conference tournament.

Capital (13-5-1 overall, 6-2-1 OAC) controlled much of the latter third of the second half and nearly all of the overtime session preceding the golden goal. Stemming from a free kick, the ball was played into the box where Mariah Richards (Canton, Ohio) put a head on the rock and found the upper third of the goal to give Capital a 2-1 win.

For Richards, it served as the junior's second goal of the season and first game winner.

With the win, Capital now has 19 points and has earned the No. 3 seed in the upcoming OAC Women's Soccer Tournament. With the three seed, the Crusaders will host the No. 6 seed, which will be announced when the final tournament bracket is released. Kickoff from Bernlohr Stadium for that opening round contest will be at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

The win marks the Crusaders' 11th consecutive year having 10 or more wins during the regular season. 

Limited opportunities for both sides in the opening half of play led to a combined total of just seven shots, with the Yellow Jackets posting the lone goal of the first half in the 22nd minute.

The Crusaders did outshoot the Yellow Jackets in the first period, 5-2, while also leading the half in shots on goal at 2-1.

In the second half of action, Capital manufactured five shots in the first 13 minutes of the second period with one of them coming on goal.

The Crusaders stifled the Yellow Jackets shot opportunities in the second half, allowing only one shot through the 45 minute period.

Freshman defender Mary Bushee (San Marcos, Calif.) then tied the game at one goal apiece with her fifth goal of the year in the 82nd minute, scoring off an assist from sophomore forward Becca Cartmill (Temecula, Calif.).

The Yellow Jackets' goal was scored in the 22nd minute by Kelly Gough, who took a shot directly off of a free kick opportunity.

Capital dominated the final shot count, 22-3, after opening up in the second half with 11 shot attempts. They also held a wide advantage in corners, 9-0.

"It was great to see the pressure that we were able to apply today in the attacking third," said head coach Chris Kouns. "We created a number of great opportunities, including a goal called back for being offside, and that bodes well for the future."

Kim Leitch (Rocky River, Ohio) made one save and earned her 11th win of the season. Her counterpart, Emily Tallmadge, made seven saves in a losing effort.

Expanding on the win and what it means heading into the OAC Tournament, Kouns said, "Hopefully we will be able to continue the success we had the last couple games and make a run into the tournament. Each year we really only have one goal and that is to win the OAC tournament so we can get the automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament.  At this point we've accomplished step one and gotten in. Now it is time for the next step on Tuesday."