Big Red double up Battling Bishops
The No. 13 Big Red outscored Ohio Wesleyan 8-3 in the second half en route to a 12-6 win over the Battling Bishops from Selby Field in Delaware, Ohio. The win was the fifth-straight for Denison in the rivalry which has existed since 1958. It also marked the eighth victory out of the last nine meetings for the Big Red against OWU.
After the two teams failed to score over the opening seven minutes, the Big Red went on a 3-0 run to close out the first quarter of play thanks to goals from Colin Molloy, Emmett Jones and Davis Lukens off an assist by Alex Hardt.
The second quarter's momentum would belong to the Battling Bishops as they got goals by Pat Bassett, Colin Short and Drew Scharf. In the middle of OWU's three-goal second-quarter, Jones would score off a feed from Kyle Brown which sent the two teams into halftime with DU on top, 5-3.
In the second half, with the game hanging in the balance the Big Red took control from the onset, scoring the first three goals of the quarter. They did so by shooting efficiently while forcing Ohio Wesleyan into five turnovers in the quarter. The Big Red also did a tremendous job of battling for possession, winning a game-high nine ground balls in the third.
Leading 8-4 heading into the fourth quarter, Molloy and Jones would go back-to-back with goals for the second-time this afternoon, pushing DU's lead to six with just over 10 minutes to play. Two goals by the Bishops cut the Denison advantage back to four but senior middie Tanner Smith put the game away with two scores over the final six minutes of play, setting the final at 12-6.
In potentially his last game against Ohio Wesleyan, Jones had another outstanding afternoon on the offensive end. He led all scorers with four goals via seven shots, running his career goal total against OWU to 17 in five games. He also moved into fourth place on the Denison all-time goal scoring list with 119 goals. He needs only three more goals to move past Mike Riehl and into third-place.
Following Jones in the scoring column was Smith who tallied two goals and one assist while gathering three ground balls. Cory Couture posted two goals and one assist and Molloy also scored twice. Brown and Hardt were the assist leaders with two apiece, and sophomore Spencer Riehl led the way with five ground balls.
Ohio Wesleyan attempted 29 shots but the majority sailed high and wide of the goal. Sophomore goalie Nick Petracca played all 60 minutes but was forced to make only three saves. On the other end, Denison took 34 shots and kept OWU goalie Stephen Ford busy, making 11 saves on the day.
Eight penalties were committed on the day and both teams went 1-for-4 in extra-man situations. Denison's lone man-up goal came in the fourth quarter when Smith scored off a pass from Hardt.
Today's game was the 87th meeting in the all-time series. Denison leads the series 44-42-1.
The Big Red's next contest will be on Tuesday (April 5) when they travel to Oberlin College for a 7 p.m. face-off with the Yeomen. Denison improves to 6-1 overall and 2-0 in North Coast Athletic Conference play while OWU falls to 5-3 and 1-1 in the conference.