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Women's Soccer defeats Witt for third NCAC win

Claire Kolff  |  Photo by Jace Delgado
Claire Kolff | Photo by Jace Delgado

GRANVILLE, Ohio – Thanks to Claire Kolff's goal in the 56th minute, Denison women's soccer earned their eighth win of the season on Saturday afternoon following a 1-0 victory over Wittenberg University at Barclay-Thomsen Field in Granville.

On a day that began with recognizing the careers of seniors Maggie Armstrong, Sam Haseltine, and Madison Smith, the Big Red showed complete control throughout the match while outshooting the opposition 33-9.

Taking the first three shots of the afternoon, Denison appeared to take the lead in the fourth minute of play when Smith unleashed a shot from 25 yards out, but the attempt hit the crossbar and kept the match scoreless in the early minutes.

In the 31st minute, Emma Phinney and Liz Gilbert both added to Denison's 13 first-half shots when Phinney's strike was stopped by Witt's Kelly Corbin and Gilbert's shot missed off the crossbar. Both sides remained scoreless entering intermission.

Outshooting the Tigers 13-4 in the first half, DU continued their offensive attack with the first five shots of the second half, including a header from Armstrong that landed in front of the keeper.

After Wittenberg's Taylor Vaugh-Stanton had a potential tiebreaking goal saved by a diving Patil Tcholakian, Denison took to action at 56:32 when Kolff accepted a forwarding pass from Gilbert just inside the box and sent a towering shot in-and-out of Corbin's hands for her fourth goal of the season and to give the Big Red a 1-0 advantage.

Leading 1-0 in the final minutes of play, Tcholakian made her biggest save of the day in the 89th minute when Vaugh-Stanton launched a shot inside the box and the freshman dove on top of it stop any remaining offense from the Tigers. Wittenberg was unable to attempt another shot after that as the Big Red held on for their third win in NCAC play and improved to 8-2-2 overall.

Gilbert led the Big Red with six shots and an assist, while Kolff finished with five shots, a goal, and a match-high three shots on goal. Armstrong, Phinney, Kailey Knopf, Kelly O'Neill, and Sydney Ludes each finished with three shots each.

In goal, Tcholakian earned her seventh victory of the season after holding the Tigers scoreless on five saves in 90 minutes of play. For Witt, Corbin recorded a match-high 11 saves in a full match effort.

Winners of four of their last six matches, Denison will return to Barclay-Thomsen Field next Wednesday, October 17 when they host Thomas More University at 7 p.m.

 Denison women's soccer Senior Class of 2019