By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Capital University Women's Soccer took full advantage of Capital's Homecoming crowd on Saturday, using the friendly cheers to propel the team to a 4-2 win over Baldwin Wallace University in the team's Ohio Athletic Conference opener.
The Crusaders jumped out to an early lead, taking advantage of a defensive mistake just eight minutes into the game. After pressuring the Yellow Jackets for the opening minutes, Hillary Counts saved a ball from going out of bounds on the BW endline. Counts sent the ball through the heart of the box but what should have been an easy clearance turned into a disaster for BW. The Yellow Jacket defender struck the ball but failed to make solid contact and the ball squirted right to the feet of Bridget Mallin. The sophomore then sent a shot towards goal and it slipped past the keeper and into the bottom corner.
The Crusaders doubled the lead in the 25th minute. Another failed clearance by the Yellow Jackets allowed Capital to keep their offense alive and a poor ball out landed at the feet of Olivia Rotolo in the box. The freshman then juked out a defender with a move to her left and hit a shot that floated over the outstretched arm of BW keeper Emma Bruno and into the goal.
Capital took that 2-0 lead into halftime and outshot the Yellow Jackets 8-0 in the opening 45 minutes. In the second half, BW made it a one-goal contest with a strike from Rachel Bender in the 52nd minute. The Crusaders responded quickly though with a 55th goal from Maggie Peddicord. With the Crusaders pushing forward and the ball in the center of the pitch, the ball came to Jordan Fike on the left flank. Fike then dumped the ball off to Peddicord to her left and Peddicord looped a ball into the right side of the net from 15 yards out.
Another goal from Bender in the 66th minute again made it a one-score game but yet again, the Crusaders showed their ability to respond. Seven minutes after bender's second, a corner from Mallin put the ball into the box and again, BW had an ability to clear but could not. The poor attempt met Sydney Dion about 10 yards from the goal in the middle of the box and she one-timed it into the right corner of the goal for an insurance goal.
The Crusaders outshot the Yellow Jackets 14-6 in the contest and had a 6-4 advantage in corners. Keeper Kelly Bachmann was not forced to make a save during her 90 minutes in goal while Bruno made four saves against the four goals.
The Crusaders improved to 7-2 with the win and will look for their second OAC win on Wednesday, Oct. 3 when Heidelberg University comes to town. Kickoff between Capital and the Student Princes is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Bernlohr Stadium.