Denison Clinches NCAC Berth with Win at Allegheny

With just three games left in the season the Denison women's lacrosse team was staring their first ever absence from the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament in the face. However, the Big Red capped off a three-game winning streak with a 14-13 at Allegheny College to clinch the fourth-seed in the NCAC Tourney.

After winning their home opener against Ohio Wesleyan, DU rattled off two road wins at Oberlin and Allegheny en route to advancing to the NCAC Tournament for the 15th consecutive season.

Facing a three goal deficit in the opening half, the Big Red's Olivia Shiland (South Hamilton, Mass./Hamilton-Wenham) scored back-to-back goals to trim the margin to 5-4. The Gators netted two goals inside the last two minutes to expand their lead and take a 7-4 advantage into the locker room.

Allegheny continued to open increase their lead in the opening parts of the second period as they held a 9-5 lead with 25:11 left in the contest. However, Denison answered over the next five minutes with four unanswered tallies to knot the game at 9-9. Cassedy O'Neill (Seattle, Wash./Seattle Prep) sparked the come back with an unassisted goal at 24:40. After a Sara Langsam (Philadelphia, Pa./Germantown Friends) score less than a minute later, O'Neill struck again to make it a one goal game with 22:22 left in regulation. The comeback was completed when senior Michelle Bennett (Bronx, N.Y./Taft) found the back of the net at 20:50.

The two teams matched goal scoring for the next 13 minutes of action. With the score tied at 12-all, the Gators' Christina Zanic tickled the twine with 6:04 left to regain the lead for AC. A minute and a half later, DU's Phoebe Myhrum (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shady Side Academy) scored the great equalizer off an assist from Langsam. With time winding down in regulation, Carly Tschantz (Omaha, Neb./New Trier [Ill.]) found O'Neill for the go-ahead goal with 43 ticks left on the clock. The Denison defense shutdown Allegheny as they failed to register a shot in the final second of action.

O'Neill came off the bench to lead the Big Red with four goals while Langsam and Shiland each had a two goals and an assist, and Bennett netted two scores.

Denison outshot Allegheny 39-29 and held a 15-14 edge in groundballs. Tschantz scooped up three groundballs while Bennett, Amanda Wilson (Hudson, Ohio/Western Reserve), Bethany Keller (Worthington, Ohio/Thomas Worthington) and Kelly Lengsfield (Rye, N.Y./Rye Country Day) all notched two groundballs. Tschantz, Bennett and LuLu Cater (Greenwich, Conn./The Millbrook School) all registered three draw controls. Wilson also made eight saves in the cage for the Big Red.

DU is advancing to their 15th consecutive NCAC Tournament. For the third straight year Denison will open up tournament play against the College of Wooster. The two squads will open NCAC Tournament action on Friday (May 1) at 2:30 p.m. in Wooster, Ohio.


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