As we enter the final week of the 2017 NCAC men’s lacrosse season, nationally-ranked Denison (6-0, 11-1) controls its own destiny for the program’s 17th league championship and its sixth title in the last seven years. The seeds for the conference tournament will be announced this week as the NCAC regular season schedule officially comes to a close on Saturday.
DENISON, ranked ninth in the most recent USILA poll, earned two hard-fought conference victories last week against Wooster and Ohio Wesleyan. The Big Red began the week with a 17-6 win over the Fighting Scots. In one of the biggest rivals in DIII lacorsse, Denison outscored the Battling Bishops, 11-1, over the final three quarters to earn a 12-8 win. Denison leads the all-time series 52-45 and has a 12-3 record over the last 10 years. Spencer Butler (Essex Falls, NJ/Millrbook School) was the leading goal-scoring for the Big Red as the sophomore found the back of the net eight times. Liam Rooney (Redding, CT/Joel Barlow) contributed with nine points, seven of those coming the way of the assist.
DEPAUW established a new school record for wins after picking up its seventh victory on Saturday. Steen Jorgensen (Kenilworth, IL/New Trier) led the Tigers with six goals in the win at Hiram.
HIRAM dropped a 17-8 decision last week against DePauw in its only game of the week. Hiram now holds a 2-8 record on the season.
KENYON junior Josh Galardi (San Francisco, CA/University) registered eight assists last Wednesday night and led the Lords to a 26-8 NCAC victory over Oberlin. Galardi also had two goals and was one of 14 Kenyon players to record at least one point in the game.
OBERLIN split a pair of NCAC matchups last week, losing to Kenyon, before defeating Wabash on Saturday afternoon in Crawfordsville. Eric Hager (Montclair, NJ/Montclair) and Jay Messina (Weston, MA/Weston) combined for 10 points, each scoring four goals and adding an assist as Oberlin snaped its three-game losing streak.
OHIO WESLEYAN spilt a pair of NCAC contests last week, defeating Wabash on Wednesday before falling to rival Denison on Sunday. Against the Big Red, the Bishops jumped out to a 7-1 lead before Denison outscored OWU, 11-1, over the final three quarters. Junior midfielder Luke Leyden (Northfield, MA/Northfield Mt. Hermon) registered four goals in the loss to lead the Bishops.
WABASH dropped two NCAC contests last week, suffering a 29-3 loss at Ohio Wesleyan on Wednesday, prior to a 19-7 home loss to Oberlin on Saturday. Tucker Dixon (Zionsville, IN/Zionsville) tallied four goals on seven shot attempts for Wabash while starting both games. He also caused a pair of turnovers.
WITTENBERG earned a pair of NCAC victories last week and is currently riding a three game win streak for the second time this season. The Tigers beat DePauw on Wednesday, 20-5, before defeating Wooster on Saturday, 13-7. Senior midfielder Zach Shy (Columbus, OH/Upper Arlington) led Wittenberg with eight goals and six assists in the two wins.
WOOSTER was right there with No. 9 Denison and archrival Wittenberg in the first half, but the Big Red and Tigers ultimately pulled away after halftime. Junior Jack Gilio (New Canaan, CT/New Canaan) surpassed 200 career ground balls in Saturday’s 13-7 loss to Wittenberg, while senior Josh Herold (Massillon, OH/Jackson) moved into a tie for third-place all-time in career assists with 96.