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Denison Wins Fourth NCAC Field Hockey Tournament Title

Denison wins the 2019 NCAC Field Hockey tournament championship. (Photo Credit: Bryce Stricker)
Denison wins the 2019 NCAC Field Hockey tournament championship. (Photo Credit: Bryce Stricker)

Denison (16-3) claimed its fourth North Coast Athletic Conference tournament title on Saturday (Nov. 9) afternoon with a 2-1 victory over Kenyon (15-4) in Granville, Ohio.

The Big Red got off to a quick start when Charlotte Happel (Louisville, KY/Louisville Collegiate) scored her seventh goal of the season off of an assist from AC Veith (Alexandria, VA/St. Stephen's & St. Agnes) just 6:07 into the contest. Denison then found the back of the cage again at the 17:17 mark when Charlotte Godfrey (Denver, CO/Cherry Creek) set up Happel, scoring her second goal of the day and eighth of the season. The half ended with the Big Red in control with a 2-0 advantage.

Kenyon tried to apply pressure in the second half and sophomore Sarah Metzmaier (Gibsonia, PA/Pine-Richland) got the Ladies on the board at the 51:16 mark. Kenyon tallied three shots in the second half but couldn't find the equalizer before time ran out. Denison junior goalkeeper Teya Adams (Rochester, N.H./Berwick Academy) made three saves, as did Kenyon goalkeeper Payton Doan (Gregory, MI/Chelsea). With the win, Denison will represent the NCAC in the 2019 NCAA Division III Tournament for the 14th time in program history. The NCAA selections will be released Sunday, Nov. 10 at 11:30 p.m.

All-Tournament Team
Maria Hewitt (DePauw)
Kate Milner (DePauw)
Astrid Koek (Ohio Wesleyan)
Madisyn Bunke (Ohio Wesleyan)
Olivia O'Connell (Kenyon)
Hannah Sklar (Kenyon)
Paulina Mendoz (Kenyon)
Charlotte Happel (Denison)
Madeline Hunt (Denison)
Teya Adams (Denison)
AC Veith (Denison) - MVP

Semifinal Games  Championship Game 
Wednesday, November 6 Saturday, November 9

#1 Denison 2, #4 DePauw 0 {Boxscore}

#3 Kenyon 2, #2 Ohio Wesleyan 1 (OT) {Boxscore}

#1 Denison 2, #3 Kenyon 1 {Boxscore}
Tournament Merchandise -- Championship Photos -- History -- Tournament Stats -- Tickets -- Directions


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SEMIFINALS:

In the semifinal round of the 2019 NCAC Field Hockey Tournament, No. 1-seeded Denison defeated No. 4-seeded DePauw, 2-0, while No. 3-seeded Kenyon outlasted No. 2-seeded Ohio Wesleyan, 2-1, in overtime. The Big Red will host the Ladies in Saturday's championship game at 2:00 p.m.

Denison has advanced to the championship finale for the third-consecutive season thanks to two goals from freshman Madeleine Hunt (Denver, CO/Kent Denver). The Big Red got on the board 11 minutes into the first quarter as Hunt found the back of the cage off of a loose ball from a penalty corner. Neither team would record a goal throughout the second quarter with Denison going into the final 30 minutes of play with a 7-3 advantage in shots. Hunt would tally her seventh goal of the season just three minutes into the third quarter, giving the Big Red the 2-0 lead. Denison finished the match with a 12-7 advantage in shots and a 5-2 edge in penalty corner opportunities. DePauw sophomore Allie Duranceau (Dover, NH/Dover), finished the game with five saves, while Denison junior Teya Adams (Rochester, N.H./Berwick Academy) stopped the Tigers' lone shot on goal. 

Kenyon booked its ticket to the championship game for the first time since 2016, after senior Hannah Sklar (Oak Park, IL/Oak Park & River Forest) struck for the game-winner just under six minutes into overtime off an assist from sophomore Isabella Meneguzzi (Toronto, Ontario, Canada/Havergal College). The Ladies saw their first goal of the game from junior Olivia O'Connell (Ellicott City, MD/Centennial) as she found the back of the cage in the seventh minute of play off of an assist from sophomore Sarah Metzmaier (Gibsonia, PA/Pine-Richland). The score would remain 1-0 through the half. After the break, Ohio Wesleyan countered with a goal from senior Ashley Barno (Bexley, OH/Bexley) off of an assist from freshman Veronica Hardman (Sydney, Australia/Ravenswood) at the 35:32 mark in the third, tying the game at one. Ohio Wesleyan applied pressure throughout the final quarter with a 9-6 advantage in shots and a 6-4 edge in penalty corners. However, neither team would score the go-ahead goal throughout the remainder of regulation. In the cage, Kenyon freshman Payton Doan (Gregory, MI/Chelsea) finished the game with seven saves, while Ohio Wesleyan senior Marie Overing (Amsterdam, the Netherlands/Vossius Gymnasium) made one save.

SEEDINGS & PAIRINGS:

Denison, Kenyon and Ohio Wesleyan earned a share of the 2019 North Coast Athletic Conference field hockey title after posting 7-1 NCAC records, marking the first time that the NCAC has had tri-champions in the sport since the 2007 season. Denison leads all field hockey squads with 12 titles all-time. Wittenberg is second with 10 league titles, while Ohio Wesleyan is third with nine, Wooster is fourth with eight, followed by Kenyon (5), DePauw (4) and Oberlin (3).

Denison has been tabbed the top seed in the 2019 NCAC Field Hockey Tournament through predetermined tiebreaking procedures, while Ohio Wesleyan is second and Kenyon is third. DePauw earned the fourth and final seed after posting a 5-3 NCAC record.

The top-seeded Big Red will host the fourth-seeded Tigers in the semifinals on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at  3:00 p.m. Denison topped DePauw, 2-1, on the road during the regular season. In the other semifinal game on Wednesday, also at 3:00 p.m., the second-seeded Battling Bishops will host the third-seeded Ladies. Ohio Wesleyan fell at Kenyon, 1-0, in a non-conference matchup early in the season before earning a 1-0 victory at home in their conference meeting. The championship match is set for Saturday, Nov. 10, at the site of the highest remaining seed to emerge from the semifinal round.

TOURNEY NOTES: The tournament winner receives the NCAC's automatic bid into the NCAA tournament ... Denison, looking for its fourth title in program history, is appearing in the tournament for the eleventh-consecutive season and 15th time overall ... Ohio Wesleyan returns to the tournament for the first time since 2012 to make its fourth appearance and will look for its first league title … Kenyon is making its seventh-straight appearance, 12th overall, and will look to extend its league-leading tournament titles to five ... DePauw enters the NCAC postseason for the eighth time and will be looking for its fourth title ... The Ladies lead all programs with four tournament titles followed by Denison, DePauw, Wooster and Wittenberg all with three, while Oberlin has claimed one NCAC tourney title ... Denison made its way through the tournament bracket a year ago by knocking off No. 4 Wittenberg, 3-0, in the semifinals and No. 2 Wooster, 2-0, in the championship final.