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DU defeats Kenyon to go undefeated in NCAC

Caroline Little  |  Photo by Pete Emerson
Caroline Little | Photo by Pete Emerson

GRANVILLE, Ohio – Capitalizing on their 11th straight victory and posting an undefeated record at 14-0 in the North Coast Athletic Conference, Denison field hockey rounded out the regular season with a 2-0 win over Kenyon College on Saturday afternoon at Deeds Field-Piper Stadium. This marked the third time in program history that the Big Red have went undefeated in the NCAC, last accomplished in 1999 when they went 12-0 in the conference and reached the NCAA tournament.

After securing the conference championship with a 2-0 victory over Ohio Wesleyan on Oct. 18, the Big Red finished up the regular season while outshooting the Ladies 17-6 on the day, including 12-0 in the second half.

Wasting no time to take control in the first half, Denison connected on the first goal of the match in the fifth minute of play when senior Alyssa Bahel gathered a pass from Charlotte Godfrey in the middle of the shooting circle and dialed it past Kenyon's goalie Suzy Deems for her fifth goal of the season and to put DU ahead in the opening minutes.

Following Lucy Pearsall's blocked shot from just inside the circle in the 16th minute, senior Virginia Hamilton looked to extend the Big Red lead at 30:54, but her shot was kicked away by Deems to leave the Big Red ahead 1-0 entering the final minutes of the first half.

With less than two minutes to play until intermission, Kenyon's Paulina Mendez had her shot saved by Denison's Teya Adams, forcing a penalty corner for the Ladies. Off the penalty corner, Hannah Paterakis and Claire McGinnis combined for three-consecutive shots on the cage, but Adams kicked away each shot for three saves in a row to keep DU ahead at the break, 1-0.

Keeping Kenyon to zero shots and penalty corners in the second half, the Big Red added to their lead in the 59th minute when freshman AC Veith sent in a penalty corner to junior Caroline Little who rocketed a shot from just inside the circle to give Denison a 2-0 advantage.

Holding Kenyon without a shot in the final 11 minutes of play, Denison finished the regular season at 14-0 in the NCAC and 16-2 overall, while Kenyon fell to 9-8 on the season and 8-6 in the conference.

Godfrey led all players with four shots and added two shots on goal with her assist. Pearsall tallied three shots, while Hamilton, Charlotte Happel and Rachel Kelsey each finished with two shots. Kenyon's Paterakis finished with a team-best two shots and Tara Shetty recorded a defensive save.

In the cage, Adams posted her seventh shutout of the season for DU with a six-save performance in 70 minutes of action. For Kenyon, Deems finished with seven saves in a full match effort.

Prior to the start of the match, Denison honored seniors Alyssa Bahel, Lucy Pearsall, Virginia Hamilton and Kat Swan for helping the program garner 59 wins, four-straight trips to the NCAC Tournament, and the 2017 NCAC Tournament championship during their four years in Granville.

Entering the conference tournament as the No. 1 seed, the Big Red returns to action on Wednesday, Oct. 31 as they host No. 4 Wittenberg in the NCAC Tournament semifinal at 3 p.m. at Deeds Field-Piper Stadium. The other semifinal match will feature No. 3 Kenyon at No. 2 Wooster, also playing on Oct. 31 at 3 p.m.

Denison Field Hockey Seniors and Parents