By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Capital University Men's Lacrosse won its fifth consecutive game on Saturday afternoon by narrowly beating Transylvania University (Ky.) 10-9 at Bernlohr Stadium in a back-and-forth contest. Capital is now 5-1 overall this season.
Both the Crusaders and Pioneers scored five first-half goals but in the third quarter the Crusaders made their mark. Junior CJ Hughes broke the tie with a score off a pass from Noah McCarty 1:11 into the period and Barrett Naugle increased the lead to two less than two minutes later. After five scoreless minutes and with Capital a man down, the Crusaders converted a third scoring chance after Doc Crimmel found Ryan Rampi with a slick pass from the right side on the break and Rampi buried the ball in the back of the net. Naugle scored his second goal of the quarter with just under five left to play. Kayd Aquino pulled one back for Transylvania but Capital took a 9-6 lead into the final 15 minutes.
In the fourth, the Pioneers struck first thanks to a score from Jacob Miller with 8:49 left in the game. Naugle scored again for the Crusaders to restore the three-goal advantage. With five minutes left, Bryce Lowe made it a two-goal game once again and with less than two minutes to play, Alex Cherry scored for the Pioneers to slash Capital's lead to one.
With the ball and only a little more than a minute left to play in the game, Capital goalkeeper T.J. Johnson launched a long pass in an attempt to clear the ball from Capital's end but his pass went out of bounds. Transylvania called a timeout and when play resumed the Pioneers got into their offense. After working the ball around the perimeter, Lowe uncorked a shot that was saved by Johnson but another turnover gave the ball back to the Pioneers. This time, Trenton Sneed was able to take a shot on goal but again Johnson saved it with only eight seconds left. Capital then called a timeout of its own and after restarting the Crusaders hung on for the final few seconds for the win.
Johnson made a season-high 16 saves for Capital, giving him his fifth game with double-digit saves in six tries. Transylvania goalie Michael Webb made 14 stops.
The Crusaders jumped out to an early lead by scoring the first three goals of the afternoon with Naugle, Gottwals and Hughes each finding the back of the net. Sneed scored Transylvania's first goal of the day with four minutes left in the opening quarter. Rampi opened the second quarter with a goal two minutes in before the Pioneers struck for four unanswered goals. AJ Teague scored only 17 seconds after Rampi and then Lowe scored 11 seconds after that. The Pioneers tied the game 4-4 with nine minutes until the break. Nic Bailey gave the Pioneers a 5-4 lead with a man-up goal but Wyatt tied the game heading into halftime.
As a team, Capital was outshot 49-35 but the Crusaders were more efficient with their shots and had higher quality chances. Transylvania also led 29-25 in ground balls. Both teams had 18 turnovers.
Capital will look to extend its winning streak to six games the next time it takes the field on Wednesday, March 20 against the College of Wooster at home. If the Crusaders can prevail, it will match the second-longest winning streak in program history. Capital also won six in a row in 2017 and 2014. The Crusaders and Fighting Scots are scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. on Wednesday night.