By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
BEREA, Ohio – Capital University Men's Lacrosse continued its best-ever start to a season on Saturday against Baldwin Wallace University in the team's Ohio Athletic Conference opener by claiming victory 16-12. The win was Capital's seventh in a row and the Crusaders now sit at 7-1 overall and 1-0 in the OAC.
The Crusaders struck first in the contest and never trailed. Ed Carroll scored the first goal of the afternoon just 1:12 into the game. After the Yellow Jackets tied the game about two minutes later, the Crusaders ripped off five unanswered goals to close the first quarter with a 6-1 lead. All five scorers during the run were different and in that span Carroll netted his second of the game.
In the second quarter, Luke Wyatt became the sixth Crusader to find the back of the net just 46 seconds into the period. Baldwin Wallace went on a little 2-0 run of their own to make the score 7-3 but Capital quickly got both goals back thanks to Jack Scharner and Ryan Rampi. The Yellow Jackets scored another unanswered pair in the last three minutes of the half but a buzzer-beating score from CJ Hughes had Capital going into the break up 10-5.
If Capital owned the first half, Baldwin Wallace owned the third quarter. Neither team scored until the 7:05 mark of the period but the Yellow Jackets found the back of the net first and outscored Capital 4-1 to cut Capital's advantage to 11-9 at the end of the quarter. Wyatt scored the lone goal in the period for Capital.
The Crusaders found their groove again in the fourth as Scharner and Wyatt restored a 13-9 lead just three minutes into the quarter. BW answered the scores with two goals of its own though before goals from Scharner, Rampi and Hughes gave the Crusaders a more comfortable five-goal lead with four minutes remaining. Chad Steinwachs pulled one back for the Yellow Jackets with 3:35 left to play but Capital's defense held for the remainder of the contest.
Rampi, Hughes and Wyatt each finished the game with three goals and an assist and Scharner scored three times. Hughes led the team with three ground balls. Goalkeeper T.J. Johnson continued his electric start to the season with 10 more saves, his seventh game with double-digit saves in eight starts.
As a team, Capital outshot BW 41-35. Capital also converted three man-up opportunities while the Yellow Jackets did not score on their lone advantage. Capital also went 21-for-23 on clears while the Crusaders forced eight failed Baldwin Wallace clears.
OAC play will continue for Capital next Saturday, March 30 when the team welcomes Muskingum University to Bernlohr Stadium. The Crusaders and Fighting Muskies will face off at 1 p.m. on Purmort Field.