As we enter the final week of the 2016 NCAC men’s lacrosse season, nationally-ranked Denison (6-0, 12-1) controls its own destiny for the program’s 16th league championship and its fifth in the last six years.
DENISON, ranked fourth in the most recent USILA poll, improved to 6-0 in conference play following wins over Wooster and Ohio Wesleyan. Senior goalie Chris Thomas (Cockeysville, MD/Loyola Blakefield) matched a season-high with 12 saves against OWU. His six saves in the second quarter kept the Bishops at bay, helping Denison eventually pull ahead in the second half. Sophomore defensive midfielder Josh Happ (Columbus, OH/Worthington Kilbourne) led DU with four caused turnovers against the Bishops. Denison has won 11 of the last 14 contests vs. Ohio Wesleyan.
DEPAUW picked up its fifth win of the season on Saturday after defeating Hiram 15-6. Buck Dorger (Cincinnati, OH/St. Xavier) scored five goals in the win, which is the most by a Tiger in a game this year, and Connor Patterson (Kenilworth, IL/New Trier) picked up his first win in goal. For the week, Austin MacDonald (Dayton, OH/Oakwood) led the Tigers with eight points (2 goals/6 assists), while Dorger topped the team with five goals and Grant Skipper (Gaithersburg, MD/Quince Orchard) won 34-of-48 faceoffs, had 15 ground balls and scored two goals.
HIRAM posted its second win of the season by a 17-6 count over Cleary on Thursday. Senior Greg Summers (Lancaster, NY/St. Mary’s) eclipsed the 100-career point mark in the win. Summers then broke his own single-season scoring record, notching his 24th goal of the season in a 15-6 loss at DePauw on Saturday.
KENYON gained a 12-3 lead on Oberlin and held on for a 13-10 victory Wednesday at McBride Field. Robert Jacobs (Palm Beach Gardens, FL/The Benjamin School) and Nick Vitale (Saint Joseph, MI/St. Joseph’s (IN)) both had two goals and two assists for the Lords, while Pierce Kraft (Rydal, PA/William Penn Charter) added a team-high three goals.
OBERLIN turned in a 1-1 week, falling 13-10 at Kenyon, before rebounding with a 20-6 win over Wabash to celebrate Senior Day. The loss to the Lords was the sixth of the season by three goals or less for the Yeomen. Nick Lobley (Port Washington, NY/Portledge School), who was one of 10 seniors honored before the game against the Little Giants, finished the week with 10 points, totaling eight goals and two assists.
OHIO WESLEYAN, ranked 13th in the most recent USILA poll, split a pair of NCAC contests last week, defeating Wabash, 28-2, on Wednesday before falling to nationally ranked Denison, 7-5, on the road Saturday. In the win over Wabash, freshman attacker Max Tennant (Englewood, CO/Cherry Creek) led the Bishops with five goals and an assist, while senior attacker P.J. Beach (Huntington, NY/Huntington) had four goals and two assists.
WABASH dropped a pair of NCAC lacrosse matches last week, losing 28-2 to 11th-ranked Ohio Wesleyan at home before traveling to Oberlin to fall 20-6 against the Yeomen. Steven Stark (Indianapolis, IN/Cathedral) paced the Little Giants with four goals and one assist for nine points over the two-game stretch.
WITTENBERG split a pair of NCAC contests last week, defeating DePauw, 17-8, on Wednesday before falling to Wooster, 13-9, on Saturday. Senior Andrew Fuss (Gahanna, OH/Lincoln) etched his name in the record books on Saturday, as his three points in the form of two goals and one assist gave him 171 points in his Tiger career, snapping the all-time record.
WOOSTER stayed within striking distance of No. 4 Denison during a 9-6 loss Wednesday night, then clinched a spot in the NCAC Tournament for the second time by winning 13-9 at rival Wittenberg on Saturday afternoon. Aaron Levy (Warwick, RI/Bishop Hendricken) helped the Scots secure a postseason berth by making 20 saves - one short of his career high - in the win over Wittenberg.