COLUMBUS, Ohio – A strong offensive outburst in the second quarter helped the Capital University men's lacrosse stave off the Blue Steaks of John Carroll University, 10-8, on Saturday afternoon. The Crusaders remain undefeated at home and in Ohio Athletic Conference play with their 12th overall win of the season.
Up 2-1 heading into the second quarter, freshman Brennan O'Callaghan (West Chester, Ohio) scored the second of his four goals, receiving a feed from sophomore Brent Walton (Pickerington, Ohio/Central). While JCU responded on the very next possession, freshman Carson Paull (Strongsville, Ohio) and O'Callaghan went back-to-back with goals that put the Crusaders up 5-2. After the Blue Streaks' Keegan Flinter scored while a man up, O'Callaghan scored his third goal of the quarter off a feed from behind the net by sophomore Nick Hess (Horseheads, N.Y.).
The third quarter showed off both teams' defenses, each scoring just once despite 17 shots taken. Freshman goalkeeper Cole Palmby (Delaware, Ohio) and his counterpart in net, Kyle Lake, each stopped two shots but Capital held on to a three-goal advantage heading into the final stanza.
While the John Carroll defense did not allow O'Callaghan to mark up the score sheet for the duration of the match, Paull, Danny Davide (Massillon, Ohio) and Ted Crites (Waukee, Iowa) all stepped up with goals in the fourth quarter.
While John Carroll scored twice in the final minute, they were unable to make a comeback. Capital's defense stepped up with a final save by Palmby before launching a long pass to seal the victory, 10-8.
O'Callaghan finished the day with four goals and one assist to lead the Crusaders' offense. He now has a conference-high 55 goals this season.
Paull scored a career-high three goals and has now scored at least one goal in each of the last four matches, totaling seven over that time.
Capital (12-2, 5-0 OAC) will round out the regular season on the road in a pivotal conference match at Baldwin Wallace University next Saturday at 1 p.m.
Capital, Baldwin Wallace and Otterbein are in a heated race for the regular season championship and the No. 1 seed of the upcoming conference tournament. Baldwin Wallace and Otterbein both play on Wednesday, but next Saturday's matchups will serve as the telling day for OAC Tournament seeding.