By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
AUSTINTOWN, Ohio – Capital University's record-setting 2019 season may have ended on the field but the 2019 Crusaders are still making history. On Wednesday, the Ohio Athletic Conference announced that a program-record 10 Capital players have been named All-OAC in addition to the three members of Capital Men's Lacrosse that received OAC special awards.
The Crusaders took Capital to new heights in 2019 by winning the OAC regular season title for just the second time in program history and going undefeated in the OAC regular season while setting program records for most total wins (15) and most OAC wins (nine) in a single year. For their contributions, four players were named First Team All-OAC, two were named Second Team All-OAC and four received honorable mention nods. Capital led the conference with four first-teamers and four honorable mention selections.
The All-OAC First Team members are junior attacker CJ Hughes, senior goalkeeper T.J. Johnson, junior midfielder Luke Wyatt and defender Christopher Yeager. Senior midfielder Barrett Naugle and short stick specialist Noah McCarty were named Second Team All-OAC while freshman attacker Jack Scharner, senior attacker Ryan Rampi, defender Connor Ryan and faceoff specialist Lake Harris were all named All-OAC Honorable Mention.
Hughes, a junior from Cincinnati, Ohio, led the Crusaders offensively all season with a program-record 94 points, six better than Brennan O'Callaghan's 88 points in 2018. Hughes scored 33 goals, the second-most in a single season in team history and dished out 31 helpers, a new program record by seven assists. In OAC games, Hughes tallied 48 total points, the third-most in the league, and was second with 34 goals. Hughes' 94 total points were third among OAC players. Hughes recorded at least five points in five of Capital's nine OAC games and had nine points (five goals, four assists) on April 3 at Marietta. He also recorded back-to-back eight-point games at Wilmington College and against the University of Mount Union. This is Hughes' third All-OAC award after being named All-OAC Second Team in 2018 and honorable mention in 2017.
A potent offensive threat in his own right, Wyatt (Springboro, Ohio/Springboro) finished third on the team with 42 points, 25 of which came in Capital's nine conference games. Twenty of Wyatt's 33 total goals came in the OAC season as did five of his nine assists. Wyatt recorded five three-goal games in OAC play and had three four-point games in conference.
On the defensive side of the field, Johnson (Champlin, Minn./Champlin Park) was the clear-cut best goalkeeper in the conference and was also named the OAC Defensive Player of the Year along with John Carroll University defender Clayton Karam. As a first-year starter, the senior led all OAC goalies by posting a 55.2 save percentage in nine conference starts and his 57.3 overall save percentage was also the best in the league. Johnson was second among OAC goalkeepers with 172 overall saves, 69 of which were made in OAC play. His 172 saves were the most in a single season in program history. Johnson had 12 games with 10 or more saves, five of which came in conference play. Johnson's 7.72 OAC goals against average was the second-best in the conference and his 8.46 overall GAA was the best mark among OAC goaltenders.
Helping Johnson out on defense was Yeager (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby) who was third among Capital field players with 37 ground balls, 22 of which came in OAC play. Yeager also caused 16 total turnovers, eight in conference, and he scored one goal. With Yeager and Johnson on defense, Capital allowed only 141 goals all season (8.27 GAA), the fewest in the conference, and gave up only 7.44 goals per game against OAC teams. This is Yeager's second all-conference award after he was named All-OAC Honorable Mention in 2017.
On the All-OAC Second Team, Naugle (Champion, Pa./Greensburg Central) patrolled the Capital midfield while chipping in on both sides of the ball. On offense, the senior scored 11 OAC goals with nine assists for 20 points in conference play. Overall, Naugle scored 21 goals with 13 assists for 34 points. All of those totals are career highs. Naugle also picked up 22 total ground balls and caused four turnovers. Naugle was named Second Team All-OAC in 2018 as well.
McCarty (Kent, Ohio/Kent Roosevelt) registered 23 ground balls and caused six turnovers and 14 of his ground balls came against OAC teams. He also contributed two assists in OAC play.
OAC Rookie of the Year Jack Scharner headlines Capital's four honorable mention selections. Scharner (Maineville, Ohio/King's) finished sixth on the Crusaders with 34 points but his 23 points in conference play were the fourth-most by a Capital player over the nine-game conference season. Scharner scored nine goals against OAC opponents and tied for the team lead with 14 assists.
As Capital's second-leading scorer, Rampi (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby) scored 38 total goals and registered 18 assists for 56 total points. The goal and point totals represent career highs. In OAC play, Rampi scored 19 goals and dished out 12 helpers for 31 points, the second-most on the team over Capital's nine conference games. Against Mount Union on April 27, the senior scored five goals and had five assists, tying the record for second-most points in a single game in team history.
Defender Connor Ryan (Westerville, Ohio/Olentangy Orange) earned his place on the honorable mention list by leading Capital's full-time players with 45 ground balls and finishing second on the team with 15 caused turnovers. Twenty of his ground balls came in OAC play and he caused six turnovers. Ryan earned an honorable mention nod in 2018 as well.
Capital's final All-OAC honoree, Harris (Lewis Center, Ohio/Olentangy Orange), made his mark on the X as a faceoff specialist. Harris won 114 of his 178 duels over the course of the season for a 64.0 winning percentage. In conference play, Harris went 94-for-139 with a faceoff percentage of 67.6 percent. Harris helped the Crusaders post a program-record 60.4 overall faceoff win percentage.
Capital's 10 All-OAC selections are the most in program history beating the previous record of eight set in 2015. This is the third time in team history that four Crusaders earned a spot on the first team. In addition to the record win totals, the 2019 Crusaders set program records for points (408), points per game (24.00), goals (254), goals per game (14.94), assists (154) and assists per game (9.06). For his work guiding Capital through the season, Head Coach Dom Marzano was named the OAC Coach of the Year.