COLUMBUS, Ohio – The benefit of scoring first and maintaining possession for much of the much was not enough to carry the Capital University men's soccer team to victory on Saturday afternoon. The Big Red of Denison University fought back to force overtime and then scored the game-winning goal to take down Capital, 2-1, at Bernlohr Stadium.
Denison (6-0-0) entered the contest ranked No. 12 in NCAA Division III per the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of American (NSCAA).
Capital (2-4-0) scored just before the turn of the 11th minute while maintaining an aggressive offensive attack. Freshman Connor Blakely (Westerville, Ohio) threaded the needle with a cross inside the Big Red defense, where sophomore Calvin Saunders (Clemmons, N.C.) turned and chipped it in against Denison keeper Jack Thomas (2-0-0).
Denison battled back and in the 37th minute equaled Capital when Will Kendall scored his first goal of the season, finding the upper-right corner of the Capital cage.
The entire second half was a back-and-forth battle, though Capital held the shot advantage, 7-4. Denison was unable to get a shot on goal in the second half, while the Crusaders laid three on frame, all saved.
Heading into overtime, Capital still maintained the aggressor throughout. It was not until the final minute was a winner declared. While moving the ball upfield, Denison forced a turnover deep on the Capital side and sprinted toward sophomore Trevor Funk (Dublin, Ohio/Bishop Watterson). Ryan Fine slipped his shot inside the far post for his first goal of the year and the golden goal for the win.
Saunders led the Crusaders will six shot attempts, three of which landing on goal.
Sophomore Justin Niswonger earned the start at goalkeeper, but was relieved at halftime by Funk (1-3-0).
Capital will continue its home stretch when they host Hiram College on Wednesday, Sept. 23. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.