By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
GROVE CITY, Pa. – Goals and snowflakes filled Robert E. Thorn Field at Grove City College in the Capital men's lacrosse team's six-goal victory over the host Wolverines. The Crusaders used big first and third quarters and consistent defense to win its final nonconference game, 12-6.
Capital (5-4) exploded with five goals in the opening frame while limiting Grove City to a single tally. Out of the gate, Capital rolled out its offense and took nearly twice as many shots as the hosts and scored all of its goals in succession. Twice the Crusaders scored two goals less than one minute apart. Senior Teddy Crites (Waukee, Iowa/Waukee) got the boulder rolling with a goal at 10:55 in the first, marking one of his two in the period. Sophomore C.J. Hughes (Cincinnati, Ohio/Walnut Hills) also scored twice to help Cap build a 5-0 lead heading into the final five of the first quarter.
Grove City (5-3) took just over 10 minutes to make its first mark on the scoreboard and was held scoreless for the next 15:41 of game time by the Capital defense.
After a quieter second quarter took a 6-3 score into halftime, Capital again opened up the floodgates on offense. Hughes pushed the lead to 7-3 just before senior Brennan O'Callaghan made his mark with three consecutive goals inside a span of 2:31. He scored four goals in the third quarter, leading the Crusaders to a 6-1 outburst to lengthen its lead.
Capital outshot Grove City by nearly three times, 17-5, while also forcing nine turnovers for the second straight quarter. The Wolverines were just 3-for-8 on clear attempts in the third, as well.
Though Cap was unable to score in the final stanza, the 12-4 lead they had built was more than enough to exit the icy arena with its fifth victory of the season.
O'Callaghan, the reigning OAC Offensive Player of the Week, scored a total of five goals and added one assist in the win. He also picked up four ground balls and caused two turnovers.
Hughes led the Crusaders with a seven-point evening behind four goals and three assists, in addition to two caused turnovers.
Senior Cole Palmby (Delaware, Ohio/Delaware) and junior T.J. Johnson (Champlin, Minn./Champlin Park) split time in goal. Palmby recorded the win while making five saves in 35:50 of playing time. Johnson came in for the final 24:10 and made a career-high six saves on nine shots faced.
Capital will jump back into conference play and host Baldwin Wallace University (7-2, 3-0 OAC) on Saturday, April 7. The opening faceoff will take place at 1 p.m. from inside Bernlohr Stadium.