By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
ADA, Ohio – When Capital University Men's Lacrosse takes the field for its next game in five days, it will do so without having lost a game in more than two months after the Crusaders earned their 13th consecutive victory on Friday night. Capital travelled to Ohio Northern University for a battle of two of the top teams in the Ohio Athletic Conference but the Purple and White solidified its position at the top of the conference standings with an 11-9 win.
The Crusaders are now 13-1 overall this year and are the only team in the OAC without a conference loss at 7-0.
The scoring started early for Capital when junior CJ Hughes (Cincinnati, Ohio/Walnut Hills) found the back of the net just 60 seconds into the contest. Capital's lead was doubled via a score by Luke Wyatt (Springboro, Ohio/Springboro) at the 12:20 mark of the first quarter and then Hughes scored again three minutes after Wyatt. The goal was the 143rd of Hughes' career, which when combined with his 57 career assists, made him the second player in program history to record 200 career points.
The junior was nowhere close to being done though as he scored two more times in the first half. Barret Naugle (Champion, Pa./Greensburg Central) also scored two first-half goals and Ryan Rampi (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby) tickled the twine and Capital led 8-4 at halftime.
Carter McCormick (Horseheads, N.Y./Horseheads) scored Capital's only goal of the third period as both teams were only able to connect on one shot each.
In the fourth, the Polar Bears made things interesting by scoring twice in the first three minutes to cut Capital's lead to two, 9-7. The Crusaders then scored two unanswered themselves, both from the stick of Wyatt. The Polar Bears scored the final two goals of the game but it was too little, too late for the challengers.
Hughes finished the game with a game-high four goals and added an assist for five points. Wyatt was second on the team with three goals and both Naugle, two goals and an assist, and Jack Scharner (Maineville, Ohio/King's), three assists, joined Wyatt with three total points. Naugle also led the game with four ground balls.
Senior T.J. Johnson (Champlin, Minn./Champlin Park), the reigning OAC Defensive Player of the Week, stopped 11 of ONU's shots on goal in all 60 minutes of action. This was Johnson's third-straight game with double-digit saves and 10th of the season.
As a team, Capital was outshot 37-28 but had only one fewer shot on goal than the Polar Bears. Capital had only one failed clear and picked up five more ground balls than ONU. Capital won 13 of the game's 23 face offs.
Capital will take its 13-game winning streak on the road again Wednesday, April 24 to take on Wilmington College. A win on Wednesday would secure at least a share of the OAC regular season title and would lock up home-field advantage in the OAC Tournament. The opening faceoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.