Kenyon (19-2) claimed its third NCAC Field Hockey Tournament title with 1-0 victory over Denison (13-5) in the Championship match on Saturday, November 8 in Gambier, Ohio. After a back-and-forth first half that didn't see much action near either goal line, the Ladies broke through early in the second half. One minute and 36 seconds into the second stanza, Kenyon earned a penalty corner, which was one of just three in the game for the Ladies. Senior Rachel Hall (Los Angeles, CA/Harvard-Westlake) inbounded the ball to junior Maddie Breschi (Carlisle, PA/Carlisle), who loaded up and sent a laser through traffic and into the back of the Denison cage. It was Breschi's team-best 14th goal of the season and Hall's team-best ninth assist. Kenyon held an 8-4 advantage in shots, while Denison attempted six of the game's nine penalty corners. The Big Red posted the only two saves of the match. With the win the Ladies earn the NCAC's automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Tournament. The NCAA selections will be released late Sunday evening. PHOTOS
--- Semifinals ---
A pair of goals from freshman Shannon Hart (Mandara, Harare, Zimbabwe/Hellenic Academy) propelled top-seeded Kenyon (18-2, 13-1) past fourth-seeded Wittenberg (9-11, 7-7), 2-0, in Wednesday's NCAC Tournament semifinal match in Gambier, Ohio. With the victory, the Ladies have advanced to the championship match for the second-straight year and sixth time in program history. The Ladies jumped ahead when Hart converted on her first goal in the 18th minute. Hart's insurance goal and 11th of the season came at the 44:19 mark in the second half, as the freshman buried a rebound for her second unassisted tally of the game. Kenyon outshot Wittenberg, 20-6, and held a 11-7 edge on penalty corners. Wittenberg goalie Sarah Brownell (Oconomowoc, WI/University Lake School)made 10 saves in a losing effort, while Kenyon goalie Sarah Speroff (Euclid, OH/Hawken School) grabbed four saves to earn the shutout victory. The win is the 11th-straight for the Ladies as they look to capture their third NCAC Tournament championship on Saturday.
Third-seeded Denison (13-6, 10-4) advanced to its third NCAC Tournament final in the last four years after knocking-off second-seeded DePauw (16-3, 12-2), 2-0, in Wednesday's semifinal contest in Greencastle, Indiana. Denison junior Britta Marden (Belmont, MA/Belmont) was credited with the game-winning goal when she scored her fifth of the season in the 10th minute of the contest, chipping a shot from the baseline past the Tiger netminder. Trailing 1-0 late in the contest, DePauw pulled its goalie to bring on an extra attacker in the final seven minutes and despite being outshot, 15-5, Denison held on and added an insurance penalty stroke goal from Molly Chapman (Greenwich, CT/Millbrook School) in the final seconds of the contest. Denison will be in search of its second NCAC Tournament championship on Saturday as the Big Red travel to Kenyon in the first-ever matchup between the two teams in the conference final.