Niswonger Named OAC Goaltender of the Year, Five Named All-OAC

Justin Niswonger was named the 2017 OAC Goaltender of the Year, and was among five Crusaders named to All-OAC. (photo credit: Joe Maiorana, Impact Action Sports Photography)
Justin Niswonger was named the 2017 OAC Goaltender of the Year, and was among five Crusaders named to All-OAC. (photo credit: Joe Maiorana, Impact Action Sports Photography)

By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio – The Ohio Athletic Conference announced the 2017 postseason accolade winners on Friday, Nov. 10. Capital University was well-represented this year with senior Justin Niswonger headlining the list after being named OAC Goaltender of the Year.

As a pleasant sendoff to this weekend's trip to the Crusaders' NCAA Tournament regional match in Chicago, Ill., Capital Men's Soccer learned that five players were named to one of three All-OAC teams and one was named a position player of the year.

Justin Niswonger (Circleville, Ohio/Circleville) earned the third all-conference nod of his career, a first team selection, and was named OAC Goaltender of the Year behind the best season of his four years at Capital. The senior allowed just 21 goals in 20 games this season, leading to a 1.08 goals-against average in 1,750 minutes of play. To date, he has made 67 saves and holds a .761 save percentage. He possesses seven shutouts this season, which ranks him 35th nationally in that category.

Joining Niswonger on the All-OAC First Team is junior forward Chewy Gordon (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville Central). This marks his first all-conference honor. Gordon has scored 11 goals, which is third-most in the OAC, and two assists for a grand total of 24 points. He is 2-for-2 on penalty kicks and five of his goal have been game-winners. He scored two in back-to-back games when he posted a pair against Baldwin Wallace University in the regular season finale and another two goals in the first round of the OAC Tournament against Heidelberg University.

Two Capital players found earned a place on the All-OAC Second Team. Defenders Dominic Zumpone (Sunbury, Ohio/Big Walnut) and Greg Knox (Oxford, Mich./Oxford) anchored a Capital defense that held opponents scoreless eight times this season and allowed one or fewer goals 11 times. Zumpone scored twice this season, including the team's game-winning goal at Ohio Northern University (10/7). Knox not only contributed on defense but also was among the league leaders in assists with his patented long throw-ins and corner kicks. The sophomore finished with 10 assists, good for third in the OAC and 26th nationally, and posted two multi-assist games this season.

For both Knox and Zumpone, this marks their first career all-conference award.

Junior forward Luke Morais (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville South) was named honorable mention All-OAC behind two goals and two assists (six points), including two game-winners in 2017.

Capital now prepares for its first-round national tournament matchup with Dominican University (Ill.), which is set to take place on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Chicago. This is just Capital's second trip to the NCAA Tournament in recorded history, the first coming in 2009.