By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Capital University Women's Soccer is moving on in the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament after beating Baldwin Wallace University 2-0 on Tuesday night.
The No. 4 Crusaders hosted No.5 BW for the second time this season and for the second time secured a two-goal win. Capital bested the Yellow Jackets 4-2 on Sept. 29 in the opening game of conference season.
On Tuesday though, the Crusaders had a much more difficult job breaking through BW's defense. The Crusaders attempted 12 first-half shots but could not break through until the 11th attempt. Play moved back and forth fairly regularly for the opening 40 minutes of the contest and just before halftime the Crusaders were the team in possession.
With six minutes until the break, junior forward Jordan Fike drove play through the center of the pitch and passed the ball off to Olivia Rotolo on the right side. Rotolo carried the ball into the penalty box and a good tackle stopped her advance but gave the Crusaders a corner kick. Sophomore Bridget Mallin stepped up to the ball and fired it into the box where it bounced around before popping out of the six-yard box. That's when sophomore midfielder Sydney Dion pounced on the loose ball and powered a shot towards goal. The ball initially hit off the underside of the crossbar and hit BW keeper Emma Bruno in the hands but the referee determined the ball had crossed the goal line and Capital took the lead. The goal was Dion's fifth score of the season and fourth game-winning goal.
The Crusaders struck again 12 minutes into the second half with a gorgeous free kick from Mallin. After winning the ball back from BW and advancing it into Baldwin Wallace's end, a Yellow Jacket was whistled for a foul on Rotolo 35 yards away from the BW goal. Mallin then again stepped up to take the kick and looped a shot towards goal as Fike moved in front of Bruno to prevent her from making the save.
Capital took only eight shots in the second half but with a lead and its defense the Crusaders did not need any more. Capital limited Baldwin Wallace to only three second-half shots and 11 in the match.
Sophomore keeper Kelly Bachmann, the reigning OAC Defensive Player of the Week, made four saves while keeping her fifth clean sheet of the year. Bruno made eight saves while allowing the two goals.
With the win, Capital improves to 13-5-0 overall this season and have advanced to at least the OAC Tournament Semifinals in every year since 2012. The Crusaders will look to qualify for their second consecutive tournament championship game on Thursday, Nov. 1 when they travel to No. 1 Otterbein University. The Crusaders and Cardinals just met in each team's regular season finale on Oct. 27. Otterbein claimed victory in that contest 2-1 in overtime. The game will also be a rematch of last year's OAC Tournament Championship, a game Otterbein won 2-0.