GRANVILLE, Ohio-- Denison advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2019 NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Tournament after an 11-7 win over Rhodes College on Saturday at Piper Stadium.
With the win, Denison improves to 18-2 and will face the winner of the Salisbury-Lynchburg NCAA 3rd round matchup on Wednesday, May 15.
The Big Red has been a slow-starting team through much of the season, but Denison opened Saturday's contest red-hot, scoring four goals in the first three minutes of play. Peter Pittroff scored the first goal of the game on an unassisted roll to the cage from close range.
Forty-four seconds later, Owen Armstrong fed Brooks Davy for the goal to give Denison a 2-0 lead. Another faceoff win by Henry DeCamp led to a quick score from Pittroff, making it a 3-0 contest. It took only 18 seconds for DU to hang its fourth goal on the scoreboard as Spencer Butler scored his first goal of the day.
The Big Red took a 5-0 lead with 7:27 left in the first on Camden Bowdy's unassisted goal. After Bowdy's score, Rhodes found its sea legs and turned to freshman attackman Jonathon Hazlehurst who scored three unanswered goals to get the Lynx back into the game at 5-3 heading into the second.
Addison Mueller's unassisted goal at the 9:39 mark in the second made it a 5-4 game but DU responded with three goals to close out the first half to take an 8-4 lead into the intermission.
In the third, the Denison defense kept Rhodes off the scoreboard and the fourth quarter belonged to Reeves McKenney who turned in seven of his 13 saves in the period. The Big Red won 14-of-21 faceoffs and Henry DeCamp led the way with nine ground balls and 13 faceoff wins.
Pittroff led all players with five points (3 goals, 2 assists) while Armstrong, Davy, and Butler all finished with two goal, one assist afternoons. Junior defenseman Richie Bartozzi was all over the field as he finished with five ground balls and two caused turnovers. Will Tully added four ground balls and two caused turnovers at LSM.
Rhodes was led in scoring by Hazlehurst and Mueller who scored three goals apiece.
Denison's 18 victories are one shy of the program single-season record set in 2014. Over the last six seasons, Denison has won 18 or more games, four times.
NOTABLES: Spencer Butler is five goals away from breaking Brady Burton's career goal record of 189.
Saturday marked Denison's 42nd NCAA Tournament game in school history. Denison is 20-23 all-time in NCAA postseason play.
This is the 15th appearance in the NCAA Quarterfinals (Elite Eight) for Denison and the fourth time since 2014. The site for Wednesday's quarterfinal game will be announced on Sunday (May 12).