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Denison drops Gators to advance to NCAC Championship

Claudia Rafi (12) |  Photo by Jace Delgado
Claudia Rafi (12) | Photo by Jace Delgado

GRANVILLE, Ohio--  Denison set a new single-season record for goals scored as they put 24 on the board en route to 24-8 win over Allegheny in the semifinals of the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament from Piper Stadium.

The previous single-season record for goals scored was 285 set in 2012.  This year's squad has scored 294 goals.  The conference record for single-season goals is 311 set by Wittenberg in 2014.

Today's win marked the 10th time out of 17 contests this season they have defeated a team by more than 10 goals and activated the running clock.

The Gators and the Big Red played a fairly even first half with Denison holding a 19-15 edge in shots.  The difference was Denison's accuracy.  They scored 13 goals on their 19 shots attempts compared to a 6-for-15 showing for the Gators.

In the second half, Denison's depth overwhelmed Allegheny as they outscored the Gators 11-2 while taking a 10-goal lead with 24 minutes left in the contest.

Claudia Rafi and Kiely Noonan led Denison with seven points apiece.  Rafi scored five goals and had two assists while Noonan posted four goals and three helpers.

Liza Farnham and Leah Israel notched hat-trick's and Israel led the way with eight draw controls.  The Gators committed 30 turnovers and 10 came during clearing attempts.  Allegheny finished 12-for-22 when clearing while Denison was 18-for-20.

The Big Red was 6-for-10 on free position attempts and Hannah Magarian and Becca Jones combined for nine saves.  Jones turned in five saves in the second half to lead DU.  Junior defender Jane Goodspeed and senior Grace Gavula finished with three ground balls and two caused turnovers.

With the win, Denison advances to the NCAC Tournament Championship on Saturday, May 5 at 1 p.m. where they will face the College of Wooster.  The Fighting Scots defeated second-seeded Oberlin, 14-11 on Wednesday in the other semifinal matchup.  The game will take place at Piper Stadium on the Denison University campus.