By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
COLUMBUS, Ohio – In a matchup of two of the top teams in the Ohio Athletic Conference, Capital University Women's Soccer and Ohio Northern University squared off under the lights of Bernlohr Stadium each looking to make a statement. The weather and defenses froze out each team's offense for the majority of the game as neither team was able to score from open play. The lone goal in the contest was a penalty kick for ONU as the Polar Bears escaped with a 1-0 win to improve to 7-0 in the OAC this season.
The Polar Bears attempted eight first-half shots and Capital took seven but the majority of play in the first half took place in the middle third of the field with each team enjoying possession of the ball but neither able to consistently threaten in the final third. Junior Maggie Peddicord (Delaware, Ohio Buckeye Valley) forced ONU keeper to make three saves in the first 15 minutes of play and Jordan Fike (Powell, Ohio Olentangy Liberty) did so in the 22nd minute but the Crusaders did not attempt another shot until the 41st minute. Ohio Northern's shots were more spread out and the Polar Bears took three shots in a flurry of action in the 29th minute but the Polar Bears did not take a shot after the 36th minute.
The opening goal of the game though came in the 51st minute when the Polar Bears were awarded a penalty kick. As ONU moved the ball down the left side of the field, an Ohio Northern player attempted a cross that hit off the arm of a Capital defender in the box, constituting a handball. Sarah Puntel was the one to step up to the spot and she deposited the ball into the left-hand corner of the goal.
The Crusaders attempted three shots in the two minutes following the ONU goal, two of which came from Peddicord. The Crusaders attempted only five shots in the second half as the Polar Bear defense sat back and snuffed out Capital's offense. The Polar Bears took only six second-half shots themselves. The Crusaders attempted 12 shots in the game and Peddicord led the team with five, four on goal.
As one of the top defensive teams in the nation, Ohio Northern recorded its 12th shutout of the season and the Polar Bears have allowed only five goals this year, one since Sept. 2. Keeper Meagan Grierson made six saves for the Polar Bears on Saturday.
Sophomore Kelly Bachmann (Zionsville, Ind Zionsville Community) made four saves for the Crusaders and stopped all of the shots she faced from open play. Senior keeper Hannah Klotzsche (Avon, Ind. Avon) started the game on Senior Night but was unable to continue play due to an injury sustained earlier in the week.
With the loss, the Crusaders fall to 11-4 overall this season and 5-2 in the OAC. Capital will look to get back on track on Wednesday, Oct. 24 when Wilmington College comes to town in the final home game of the 2018 regular season. Kickoff between Capital and the Quakers is scheduled for 7 p.m.