COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Capital University men's lacrosse team overcame a late four-goal deficit to challenge nearby foe Wittenberg University, but saw its comeback bid fall short. The Tigers scored with less than one minute to go and held off one last Crusaders charge in Capital 15-14 loss on Wednesday night, at Bernlohr Stadium.
Wittenberg (3-2) scored back-to-back goals, one of those on a man-up opportunity, to take a 14-10 lead over the Crusaders in the final quarter and 11 minutes remaining. Brennan O'Callaghan (West Chester, Ohio) had a quieter than normal game, but came alive at the right time by scoring the first of four straight Capital goals. A penalty against Wittenberg set up a Capital man-up chance, which junior Brent Walton (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington Central) took advantage of. O'Callaghan hit Walton with a pass from behind the cage, which Walton drove home to cut the deficit to two goals. Two minutes later, the Tigers turned the ball over at midfield and Walton sprinted off the reset. Falling toward the net, he tossed a shot passed the Wittenberg keep to make for a one-goal game, 14-13, with 2:52 left on the clock.
Junior Ted Crites (Waukee, Iowa) scored the equalizing goal with 49 seconds to go when O'Callaghan worked around the cage and found Crites out in front of the net with another great setup pass. Crites finished the job with a shot from the keeper's left and beat him to the near post.
With the sidelines aroused, Wittenberg responded just 23 seconds later when Frank Redman launched a shot to the top near-side corner, beating Capital keeper Cole Palmby. With 26 seconds left on the clock, the Tigers held a 15-14 lead. They held off one last attack by the Crusaders, in which a turnover allowed them one last chance to send the game to overtime. Aaron Blossey made one last save in a relief effort to solidify the win for Wittenberg.
O'Callaghan was held to just one goal, but put up a career-high five assists. Walton closed up shot with four goals to lead the offense, while Johnathan Mundell added a pair of goals. Freshman Ryan Rampi (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby) put up one goal and two assists on the night.
Austin Brady and Sean Kelleher each scored three goals for Wittenberg. Thomas Fuss led the Tigers with four goals and two assists. Blossey earned his first win of the season after making eight saves in 30 minutes of play.
Wittenberg held a 19-14 advantage in faceoffs, but Michael Trefethern went 6-for-10 on the 'X' coming off of the bench to help Capital in its comeback effort.
Capital (5-2) will take its show on the road for a contest at Olivet College (Mich.) on Saturday afternoon. Game time is set for 3 p.m.