No. 3 Gettysburg entered the NCAA second round match-up with Denison armed with the nation's sixth-ranked defense and the 12th ranked offense in Division III. DU countered with an offense that averaged nearly 15 goals per game and held opponents to under eight.
Despite a spirited effort, Denison fell to the defending national champion, Bullets, 17-7, but gained significant experience while playing deeper into the NCAA Tournament than ever before.
In the opening two minutes of the contest the Bullets flexed their muscles, to the tune of three straight goals. However, the remaining 58 minutes would be a battle as the Big Red settled in and gave Gettysburg a run for their money.
After the 3-0 start via two goals from Katie Blumenthal and one from Bridget Kenny, DU's Olivia Shiland made the Denison faithful breathe a sigh of relief after a free-position goal at the 28 minute mark of the first half.
After the initial flurry of goals, the remaining 28 minutes of the first half saw Gettysburg outscore the Big Red 6-3, sending the Bullets into the intermission with a 9-3 lead. Just 1.5 seconds before the conclusion of the half, DU's Alyssa Zinsser scored via a free-position attempt.
That positive momentum would carry over into the second half as DU cut the Gettysburg lead to five at 10-5 with 20 minutes to play.
With the game in the balance, the veteran Bullets, who had lost just once this season to The College of New Jersey, scored seven of the final nine goals to close out the game.
Denison was led by Alex Thurner and Molly Chapman who each scored twice. Shiland and Lauren Adams each scored one goal and added a team-high three ground balls. Zinsser notched her second goal of the season in the first half and Lisa Feroli and Carly Tschantz posted assists.
Gettysburg was led by Hannah Church and Blumenthal, who each scored four goals. Kenny chipped in three scores for the Bullets.
The first season under head coach Kristin Ramey ends at 15-5 for the Big Red. This marked the 17th North Coast Athletic Conference championship in the history and the team set single-season records for goals and assists. Thurner leaves Granville with 135 goals which ranks eighth all-time. Tschantz also set a milestone this afternoon. Her four draw controls moved her into second-place on the NCAA's list for career draws.
Gettysburg improves to 19-1 and will face the winner of Middlebury and Montclair St. on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Clark Field.