Tigers End Denison's NCAC Streak

The Wittenberg Tigers secured the top seed in next week's NCAC tournament following a 14-12 victory over the Denison Big Red at Piper Stadium in Granville, Ohio. That marked the first conference loss for Denison since April 20, 2010. It also put an end to the Big Red's seven-game winning streak that dated back to March 15.

It was a tight contest from the start and both teams were physical as exemplified by five yellow cards issued by the officiating crew. The Tigers got an unassisted goal from Alie Marousek with 1:50 to play in the first half, giving them a 7-6 lead heading into the intermission.

In the second half, Olivia Shiland scored her second of three goals off an assist from Lauren Adams, tying the match at 7-7. Just over a minute later, Marousek would score again, sparking a 4-0 Tiger run that had Wittenberg out in front 11-7 with 21:45 to play.

Denison would begin its comeback charge at the 19:23 mark when Molly Sbrega took a shot that banged off the right post of the cage. The senior calmly gathered the loose ball on one hop and fired a follow-up shot past Wittenberg goalie Katie Bondy for the score.

Four minutes later, after a failed clear by the Tigers resulted in a turnover and ground ball for Sbrega, Shiland would score on the fast-break, cutting the Wittenberg lead in half at 11-9.

The run would continue as Kiersten Dussinger scored after a caused turnover by Alex Thurner. Moments later, the turning point of the game would occur after a draw by Carly Tschantz resulted in an apparent goal by Molly Chapman. Following the goal, prior to the draw control officials conducted a routine stick check and Chapman's goal was wiped off the scoreboard, erasing the tie game and giving the ball back to the Tigers.

In a matter of minutes Wittenberg's Erin Guiliano gave Wittenberg a 12-10 lead and at the 5:47 mark, Kellen Morrissey put the Tigers on top by three goals.

Denison would respond with a quick goal from Shiland to Sbrega but the next four minutes on the clock would be chewed up by the Tigers despite two caused turnovers by the Big Red. With 1:08 to play, Wittenberg's Nicolette Lyons iced the win with her first goal of the night.

DU edged the Tigers 29-27 in shots and won the draw control battle 17-10. Tschantz led all players with 10 draws to go along with her two caused turnovers.

Grace Bodenmann posted eight saves in her 60 minutes of action while Bondy ended with 10 saves and the victory.

Shiland paced Denison statistically with three goals, one assist, four grounds balls and four draw controls. Sbrega scored three goals and Lisa Feroli ended with two goals and one assist. Defensively, Adams posted three ground balls and a team-high three caused turnovers. Isabel Swicklick also finished with two ground balls for DU.

Wittenberg improves to 10-4 and 5-0 in the NCAC while Denison falls to 11-4 and 4-1 in conference play. Denison will close out its regular season on Friday (April 27) with a 7:00 p.m. match against Ohio Wesleyan in Delaware, Ohio. Win or lose, Denison will be the No. 2 seed in next week's NCAC Tournament.


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