SALISBURY, Md.—No. 9 Denison suffered a 19-10 loss to No. 2 Salisbury in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Tournament on Wednesday night at Seagull Stadium. The Big Red's season ends with an outstanding 18-3 record while Salisbury advances to Sunday's Final Four against Cabrini.
The Big Red took a 2-0 lead five minutes into the contest thanks to a goal by Owen Armstrong and a man-up goal from Brooks Davy. Two minutes later, Peter Pittroff's unassisted tally gave the Big Red a 3-1 lead at the midpoint of the first period.
Salisbury features one of the top FOGO's in the nation in Brett Malamphy and with Denison All-American Henry DeCamp still battling an injury, Salisbury capitalized. Malamphy went 8-for-10 on faceoffs in the first quarter and the extended possessions eventually wore down the Denison defense.
Salisbury went on a four-goal run in a span of 2:02 to take a 5-3 lead. With 20 seconds left in the first quarter, Chris Haimbaugh scored from the midfield on a pass from Pittroff to make it a 5-4 game entering the third.
For Big Red fans, the one-goal deficit wasn't as concerning as the nine-goal first quarter. The pace of play and possession favored the Seagulls and that led to an impressive second quarter for the home team.
Denison regrouped in the third, playing Salisbury to a 2-2 tie thanks to goals from Brooks Davy and another from Waxter. The Big Red entered the fourth quarter down 14-7 and two early fourth quarter scores by Salisbury put the game away.
Salisbury held a 55-22 advantage in shots and a 46-22 advantage in ground balls. It was a busy night in the cage for DU sophomore Reeves McKenney as he finished with 14 saves while facing 33 shots-on-goal.
Defenseman Joseph Rochte led the defense with three ground balls and Will Tully had two caused turnovers. Waxter finished with two goals and one assist while Davy netted a hat trick with three goals on four shots. Butler had three assists and Pittroff totaled one goal and one assist.
The offensive foursome of Butler, Davy 157, Armstrong 95 and Waxter (110) end their careers at Denison with 547 total goals scored. Butler leads the way with 185 goals and leaves Denison ranked second all-time in only three seasons with the Big Red. Davy ranks fourth in career goals with 157 and Waxter is one of 18 players in Denison history to score over 100 goals as he graduates with 110. Armstrong checks out with 95 career goals.
In three seasons as Denison's faceoff specialist, DeCamp leaves as the career leader in ground balls (403) and faceoff's won (755-of-1156).
This is Denison's fourth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Since 2014, Denison has gone 10-5 in the NCAA Tournament while posting a 102-16 record highlighted by four seasons with 18 or more victories.