GRANVILLE, Ohio – Despite trailing 1-0 at the half, Denison men's soccer totaled three goals in the second half to storm back and defeat Hiram College 3-1 on Wednesday afternoon at Piper Stadium. With the win, the Big Red have clinched a berth in the 2017 North Coast Athletic Conference tournament set to begin next Wednesday, Nov. 1.
The Big Red outshot the Terriers 8-3 in the first half, but a goal from Richard Milford in the ninth minute of action carried the 1-0 lead for Hiram all the way into intermission.
In the second half, Denison's offense first ignited in the 56th minute when senior Max Haupt spotted a free kick into the penalty area where Eric Buer headed it over Hiram's goalkeeper CJ Keith for his first goal of the season and to tie the match at 1-1.
Three minutes later, senior Jasdeep Khaira took a free kick from 18 yards out and sent it through the hands of Keith and into the back of the net, giving Denison a 2-1 lead in the 59th minute.
In the 68th minute of play, Hiram's Quinn Galecki was called for a foul and received a red card, dropping the Terriers to 10 players for the remainder of the match and sidelining Galecki for the next contest as well.
With three players already unable to play for Hiram due to red cards, the Big Red took advantage of the man down in the 81st minute when Buer added an assist to his daily stat sheet and connected with junior Brandon Kozak for his third goal of the season and to give DU a 3-1 advantage.
The Big Red offense stayed aggressive with three shots in the final nine minutes of play as they solidified the second half rally and secured the 3-1 victory.
Denison's senior goalkeeper Jack Thomas earned his fourth victory of the season after a two-save performance, while Hiram's Keith ended 90 minutes of action with 10 saves.
The Big Red will return to play this Saturday, Oct. 28th for their home finale with Ohio Wesleyan University. The match is set to start at 4:30 p.m.