Denison Scores Late to Top Wittenberg in NCAC Semi

With the score tied 11-11 and less than a minute left in regulation, Carly Tschantz (Omaha, Neb./New Trier) found Phoebe Myhrum (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shady Side Academy) for the eventual game winning goal with 43 seconds left, sending Denison past Wittenberg and into the NCAC championship. As the no. 1 seed, Denison will host Saturday's title game at 3:00 p.m. when they will face Wooster.

The two squads played a back-and-forth match through the entire first half of play. Denison led 6-5 at halftime but came out of the intermission with some momentum thanks to a pair of goals by Jenny Strathern (Worthington, Ohio/Thomas Worthington) and a goal by senior Lulu Carter (Greenwich, Conn./The Millbrook School).

Just two minutes into the half, DU found themselves out in front, 9-5 and following an Alex Thurner (Cincinnati, Ohio/Summit Country Day) goal with 15:54 left in the game, they led 11-8.

The Tigers would rally and finally begin to solve Denison's dominance in the draw control game. Tiger attack Maggie Amorello scored her fourth goal of the contest at the 12:44 mark and Jen Close notched her third goal just over two minutes later to get to within one goal. With 7:53 remaining, following a foul on the Big Red, Wittenberg's Francine Murzynski converted Wittenberg's fifth free-position shot of the game which tied the score at 11-11.

As the game continued to tighten over the next six minutes both teams struggled taking care of the ball, as both squads combined for nine turnovers. With 1:16 to play Denison's Molly Cornbrooks (Baltimore, Md./Roland Park Country Day) committed a turnover that resulted in a Wittenberg clear attempt. Near midfield, Erin Guiliano gave the ball back to Denison's Molly Sbrega (Portland, Maine/Deering) who got the ball to Tschantz. As time continued to tick away, Tschantz was patient and held on to the ball until Myhrum got free in front of the crease where she converted her 80th, and most important goal of her career.

On the looming draw control, Tschantz, who tied her own single game record with 10 draws, batted the ball to Olivia Shiland (South Hamilton, Mass./Hamilton-Wenham) who secured possession which allowed the Big Red to run out the final 40 seconds of play.

Denison got four goals from Strathern, three goals from Shiland and two goals apiece from Carter and Thurner. Cornbrooks led all players with two assists and as mentioned earlier, Tschantz tied the DU record with 10 draws.

The draw control has been the bread and butter for the Big Red throughout their 9-game winning streak. Tschantz entered the game ranked second in the nation in draws per game and her average rose to 6.0 draws per contest after today's performance. Shiland followed with four draws, five ground balls, and three caused turnovers, while Lauren Adams (Louisville, Ky./Kentucky Country Day) led all players with six ground balls.

Wittenberg was paced by Amorello's four goals and Close's three scores. Kellen Morrissey secured seven of Wittenberg's nine draws. Tiger goalie Jenny Schaafsma turned in 10 saves while her counterpart, Grace Bodenmann (Pelham Manor, N.Y./Pelham Memorial) finished with seven saves which all came in the second half of play.

The Big Red will face No. 3 seeded Wooster in the championship on Saturday. Wooster defeated No. 2 Allegheny 14-10 this afternoon in Meadville, Pa. This is Denison's 12th appearance in the NCAC Tournament Championship game. They have won the tournament title six times, with their last championship coming in 2006. Denison and Wooster have met for the NCAC Championship on four occasions and the two schools have split those four games, 2-2.

A live video webcast of Saturday's championship will be provided by Denison Sports Network beginning at 3:00 p.m.


Create a free lacrosse website