Crusaders Fall to Mount Union in OAC Title Game

Pictured: Makenna Ozenghar (photo credit: Joe Maiorana)
Pictured: Makenna Ozenghar (photo credit: Joe Maiorana)

By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director

ALLIANCE, Ohio – The Capital University women's lacrosse team had one celebration on Saturday night when its five seniors turned their tassels. They sought a second when they loaded the bus for Alliance to play in the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament championship game. That celebration was not to be after the University of Mount Union Purple Raiders defended its home field and defeated Capital, 17-9, at Mount Union Stadium.

Saturday night's matchup marked the third time in four years the Crusaders had advanced to the conference tournament title game, each against Mount Union. They complete the season with an 11-6 overall record and runners-up in the OAC regular season and tournament.

Unlike their first meeting both teams' offense came out ready to score, and score they did. Capital freshman Luci Kanowsky struck first to Capital on the board just 2:54 into the contest, but Mount Union came back with two quick scores from close range to take a 2-1 lead less than four minutes into the contest.

Mount went on to score four straight goals to storm out to a 4-1 lead. Mount Union's third and fourth goals came off similar plays in which the Purple Raiders lined up for a free-position shot but stepped back to feed a pass toward the far post. Danielle Rohrman and Sydney Bumbarger received those passes and then scored on quick shots.

Brooke Delara broke up the run when she backed out of a free-position attempt and then charged the middle, bursting through a double team and ripping a shot that whizzed past Mount Union goalie Mimi Curtis.

Down 5-2, Capital's next goal came on a bit of a fluke. Taylor Barclay's free-position shot was broken up and Curtis picked up the loose ball but lost it when twisting her stick and it landed over the goal line before she could recover.

Mount Union scored four more times, including twice inside the last 15 seconds of game time, to take a 9-3 lead into halftime.

The hosts jumped out to score the first goal of the second half to build a seven-goal lead, but then Cap roared back with four unanswered goals. Delara got the ball rolling when she slipped behind a defender and took Makenna Ozenghar's pass all the way to the house. Taylor Barclay added to the rally just nine seconds later when Cap won the draw and took it downfield. Ozenghar, again, delivered a pass to Barclay on the far post where the senior finished with a top-shelf shot.

Dana Stover came into the scoring picture and with her goal made it 10-6. Ozenghar then got into the goal column when she worked off a defender on the eight-meter arc and found a lane to shoot through. She beat Curtis low-right side to get the Cap fans back into it and make for a three-goal game.

Mount Union's response was swift. Less than one minute after Cap's fourth consecutive goal, Danielle Rohrman broke up the rally with her fourth goal of the night. That score was the first of five consecutive goals scored by the Purple Raiders, two of those on the man-advantage.

Kathryn Walton was held to just one goal, and that came with 10:41 to go when on the man-up and the game well in hand for Mount Union. She and Luci Kanowski scored Cap's two final goals, which were matched by MTU and led to a 17-9 final.

In her final game, Ozenghar led Cap with four points on one goal and three helpers. Delara ended her sophomore campaign with two goals and one assist. Lisa Lotz made three stops between the pipes.

Rohrman led both sides with six goals and seven points while Sydney Bumbarger matched that goal count. Curtis made just four saves in her 17th win of the season. Mount Union (17-1) has now won six consecutive OAC Tournament championships and will receive the automatic qualifier bid to represent the OAC at the NCAA Division III Tournament.