Denison Falls at Salisbury in NCAA Tourney

Denison senior Halle Walsh collected two ground balls and caused one turnover in the loss to Salisbury | Photo by Joey Gardner
Denison senior Halle Walsh collected two ground balls and caused one turnover in the loss to Salisbury | Photo by Joey Gardner

Story Courtesy of the Denison Sports Information Department

Denison women's lacrosse suffered a 16-4 loss on Saturday afternoon to No. 2 Salisbury University in the third round of the NCAA Division III Tournament at Sea Gull Stadium. The Big Red finished the 2018 season at 17-3 overall, setting a new program record for wins (17) in a season.

Entering the round of 16 for the fourth time in school history, Denison's senior goalie Becca Jones (Wolfeboro, NH/Brewster Academy) kept the Seagulls off the board with a pair of big saves during the first 2:10 of the game. Less than two minutes later, Claudia Rafi (Mason, OH/Ursuline Academy) gave the Big Red an early 1-0 lead at the 26:01 mark.

With 20:10 to play in the first half, Emily McQuay tied the game at 1-1 with Salisbury's first goal of the day. Less than three minutes later, Gabrielle Mongno received a pass from Krissy Murphy and broke the tie to take a 2-1 lead.

The Seagulls added three more goals in the first half to carry a 6-1 lead entering halftime.

Despite SU's Dana King and Murphy scoring two additional goals to start the second half, Denison answered with 27:02 remaining as Kiely Noonan (Wellesley, MA/Wellesley) recorded her first goal of the game. Rafi followed with her 55th goal of the season to cut the DU deficit to 8-3 at the 25:16 mark.

Over the next 19:10 of play, Salisbury posted an 8-0 scoring run to go in front, 16-3. Noonan would record her 74th goal of the season with 2:29 remaining, but the Big Red's tournament run would end with a regional semifinal loss to the Seagulls.

King led SU with three goals on the day, while four other players tallied two goals each for Salisbury.

The Big Red were led by two goals apiece from Noonan and Rafi, while junior Jane Goodspeed (East Grand Rapids, MI/East Grand Rapids) was awarded six draw controls. Jones, Goodspeed, Leah Israel (Bloomfield Hills, MI/Cranbrook Kingswood)Halle Walsh (Duxbury, MA/Duxbury) and Liza Farnham (Barrington, RI/Moses Brown) finished the game with two ground balls each.

Noonan finished the season with 74 goals and 102 points, ranking second overall in single-season goals behind Cheryl Connolly (80). She also joined Connolly for the most points recorded in a season, tying her for the program record at 102.

Goodspeed's two ground balls moved her to 159 ground balls for her career, placing her third all-time at Denison.

Seniors IsraelRafiWalshJonesGrace Gavula (Glenview, IL/Loyola Academy) and Emily Marlatt (Clarksville, MD/River Hill) leave Denison with 56 career victories, including a 2018 season to remember with new single-season records set in wins (17), goals (336), assists (143), points (479), ground balls (546), and caused turnovers (284).

Speaking about her senior class, head coach Amanda Daniels said, "They are amazing people. As leaders on the team, on the field and off the field, they're irreplaceable and they mean everything to us and will continue to. Their time as Big Red is not over, even though they won't be with us every day, they'll be with us in spirit."