GRANVILLE, Ohio – Junior goalkeeper Dylan Brown posted a pair of lead-preserving saves in the final two minutes of action as Denison men's soccer held off Marietta College by a final score of 2-1 on Thursday night at Barclay-Thomsen Field in Granville.
Despite the Pioneers outshooting the Big Red 18-11, including a 12-4 mark in the second half, Denison cashed in on two of their four shots on goals in the first 48:47 of action to build their advantage entering the final half of play.
The first half belonged to DU as they took the first five shots of the match, including four shots from sophomore Leo Herard. Marietta rebounded over the next six minutes with four consecutive shots against the Big Red, but Denison took the first lead of the night in the 37th minute when freshman Pierre de la Croix-Vaubois sent a pass to Luis Zamora who finished it past the keeper for his first goal of the season and his first since the 2017 campaign. Denison carried a 1-0 lead into the break.
In the second half, the Big Red offense wasted no time in adding to their lead when junior Matt Rush accepted a cross from Herard and headed it in the right side of the net to give DU a 2-0 lead in the 49th minute.
Over the next 35 minutes of play, Marietta attempted nine total shots and turned in four corner kicks to keep the pressure on the Big Red defense. Marietta's consistency paid off in the 85th minute when Will McAlister scored on a free kick from Sebastian Ziaja as the Pioneers cut their deficit to one, 2-1, with 5:32 remaining in the match.
Following a Denison corner kick at 86:59, the possession went back to Marietta, and less than a minute later, the Pioneers were fouled inside the DU box, giving MC's Gavin Long a penalty kick with 2:02 remaining. Lined up one-on-one with DU's Brown, Long took a shot on the right side of the goal and Brown met him with a diving save that kept the Big Red in front, 2-1.
In the final minute of action, both sides traded fouls, including a red card for the Big Red that kept them a man down for the final 12 seconds. With two seconds to play, McAlister was searching for his second goal of the day on a header, but Brown made a leaping grab to secure the win for Denison and help move them to 2-1 on the season. Marietta dropped to 1-2 so far in 2019.
Brown finished the night with a season-high nine saves in 90 minutes of action, including five saves in the second half. Herard led the Big Red with four shots while tallying an assist. Zamora and Rush recorded their goals on three combined shots while de la Croix-Vaubois added a shot to his assist.
Robert Phillips led Marietta with four shots, including two on target. Long and Luke Maher followed with three shots each. Goalie Dakota Penquite finished with three saves in a full match effort.
Denison returns to the pitch on Saturday, Sept. 7 when they travel to Berea, Ohio for a 7 p.m. matchup with the Yellow Jackets of Baldwin Wallace.