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Sun Feb 25
Final
21 #24 Denison
3 at Fredonia
in Fredonia, N.Y.
Thu Mar 01
Final
9 Redlands
11 #25 Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sun Mar 04
Final
4 #25 Denison
17 at #1 Gettysburg
in Gettysburg, Pa.
Wed Mar 14
Final - 2OT
12 Ill. Wesleyan
13 Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sat Mar 17
Final
16 Denison
12 vs. Dickinson
@ Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn (Natchez Field)
Tue Mar 20
Final
12 Rhodes
9 vs. Denison
@ Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. (Natchez Field)
Sun Mar 25
Final
3 Baldwin Wallace
19 Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sat Mar 31
Final
9 Allegheny
21 Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sat Apr 07
Final
14 Denison
7 at Kenyon
in Gambier, Ohio
Sun Apr 08
Final
3 Ohio Wesleyan
19 Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Wed Apr 11
Final
23 Denison
6 at Wittenberg
in Springfield, Ohio
Sat Apr 14
Final
6 Wooster
20 Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Wed Apr 18
Final
14 Denison
8 at John Carroll
in University Heights, Ohio
Sat Apr 21
Final
26 Denison
2 at Hiram
in Hiram, Ohio
Wed Apr 25
Final
23 Denison
0 at DePauw
in Greencastle, Ind.
Sat Apr 28
Final
6 Oberlin
17 Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Wed May 02
Final
8 Allegheny
24 Denison
in Granville, Ohio - NCAC Tournament Semifinal
Sat May 05
Final
10 Wooster
17 Denison
in Granville, Ohio - NCAC Tournament Championship
Sat May 12
Final
4 Calvin
21 Denison
in Granville, Ohio - NCAA Tournament Second Round
Sat May 19
Final
4 Denison
16 at Salisbury
in Salisbury, Md. - NCAA Regional Semifinal
View Full Schedule

Sweet 17

Denison defeated Wittenberg 11-9, claiming its 17th NCAC Championship on Saturday.
Denison defeated Wittenberg 11-9, claiming its 17th NCAC Championship on Saturday.

For the 17th time in the 28-year history of the North Coast Athletic Conference, the Denison Big Red are champions.  DU held off top-seed Wittenberg 11-9 on Saturday afternoon, punching its ticket to the 2012 NCAA Division III Tournament. 

This year's championship victory was  trademarked by a tremendous defensive effort that made poignant adjustments following their 14-12 loss to this same Tiger squad just over a week ago.

The first half was played nip-and-tuck and neither team managed to take more than a one-goal lead.  DU held a 5-4 lead at the break thanks to goals by Molly Sbrega, Lisa Feroli, Olivia Shiland, and free-position goals by Carly Tschantz and Alex Thurner.

Early in the second half, two goals by the Tigers would even the score at 6-6 with just over 20 minutes to play.

That's the moment when the Big Red defense kicked into high gear and the ball would barely see the Wittenberg side of the field again.  The moment the Tigers gained possession, Denison swarmed, usually forcing an errant pass from the home team.  Wittenberg cleared the ball at a rate of 57 percent and 16 of the Tigers' 27 turnovers came in the second half.

Alyssa Zinsser, Lauren Adams, Tschantz and Isabel Swicklik combined for eight caused turnovers and 15 of the Big Red's 25 ground balls.

The Big Red offense got the game's first run going with 18:53 to play when Sbrega scored off a pass from Thurner. Just over a minute later Thurner notched her second goal of the game, lifting DU to its first two-goal lead of the day.

A critical six minutes would pass with DU controlling possession and with 10:25 remaining, first-year Molly Chapman scored her first goal of the day off a pass from Sbrega, putting Denison on top 10-7.

The Tigers would answer with 8:34 remaining when Erin Guiliano scored via an 8-meter attempt but more precious time would elapse and with 5:23 left, Feroli provided the dagger, scoring her 42nd goal of the season while putting her team on top, 11-8.

Over the last five minutes Denison's defense continued to tighten and the Tigers managed just one shot attempt, coming with 25 second left.  That shot by Alie Marousek found the back of the net, but a comeback would not be in the cards for the Tigers as the final horn sounded with Denison prevailing 11-9.

Sbrega and Feroli led the team in points with four.  Sbrega scored two goals and added two assists to go along with her three ground balls.  Feroli posted her seventh hat-trick of the season while gathering two ground balls.

Shiland ended with two goals and Thurner posted two goals and one assist, giving her 10 points for the tournament.  She was named to the NCAC's All-Tournament team along with Tschantz, Chapman and Feroli.

Grace Bodenmann turned in five saves for Denison while Wittenberg goalie Katie Bondy posted 12 saves for the Tigers.

Denison improves to 14-4 and will advance to the NCAA Tournament for the 15th time in program history.  The selection show is scheduled to air on NCAA.COM at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday (May 6).  The first round is scheduled for Wednesday (May 9) at a times and locations to be determined. Follow @DenisonSports on Twitter to be the first to know who Denison's opponent will be.