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Women’s Soccer garners six All-Ohio honors

(L-R) Maggie Armstrong, Liz Gilbert, Kelly O'Neill, Claire Kolff, Madison Smith, Patil Tcholakian
(L-R) Maggie Armstrong, Liz Gilbert, Kelly O'Neill, Claire Kolff, Madison Smith, Patil Tcholakian

GRANVILLE, Ohio – Denison women's soccer had six players honored by the Ohio Collegiate Soccer Association for their athletic and academic excellence this week, including senior Maggie Armstrong as a first-team selection on the Division III All-Ohio and Academic All-Ohio.

Armstrong's offseason accolades continue to pile up following her fourth-straight appearance on the All-Ohio squad. Leaving Granville as one of the women's soccer program's most decorated players, Armstrong paced the Big Red to the 2018 NCAC championship with nine goals, six assists, and 24 points. Her strong senior campaign resulted in a spot on the United Soccer Coaches Division III All-America third-team along with the Scholar All-America second-team, becoming the fifth player in DU history to accomplish both honors.

She also claimed first-team honors from the North Coast Athletic Conference and the All-Great Lakes Region, as well as being named the NCAC's Midfielder of the Year for the second time in her career.  During her four years as a starter, Armstrong tallied 28 goals and 13 assists over 75 matches and was recognized as an All-NCAC and All-Great Lakes Region selection in all four years. Also a two-time selection of the Division III Academic All-Ohio first-team and member of Denison's Pre-Health Honor Society and Mortar Board, the Wilmette, Ill. native is a Biology major with a 3.52 GPA.

Earning her second-straight appearance on the All-Ohio second-team, sophomore Kelly O'Neill locked down a Denison defense that posted a goals-against average of 0.62 this season while securing nine shutouts overall. Also named to the All-NCAC second-team in 2018, the Torrance, Calif. native connected on four goals and one assist this season, including back-to-back goals in wins over Otterbein (Sept. 5) and Buffalo State (Sept. 8). O'Neill was named to the All-Great Lakes Region in 2017 & 2018.

First-year Liz Gilbert added an OCSA All-Ohio first-team selection to her impressive freshman campaign after collecting six goals and four assists for the Big Red. Also named to the All-Great Lakes Region second-team and All-NCAC first-team, Gilbert's first year in Granville was highlighted by a five-point performance on two goals and one assist in a 7-1 win over Otterbein on Sept. 5.

Gilbert and Armstrong were assisted on the DU offense by junior Claire Kolff, who was named to the Division III Academic All-Ohio first-team for the first time in her career. Named to the All-NCAC second-team in 2018, Kolff started 14 matches for the Big Red and finished tied for second on the team with six goals, including three game-winning goals on the season. A native of Draper, Utah, Kolff is a Psychology and Education double major at Denison and boasts a 3.30 GPA.

Freshman goalie Patil Tcholakian and senior midfielder Madison Smith rounded out DU's All-Ohio honors after landing on the Division III third-team. Smith made her debut on the All-Ohio after earning All-NCAC first-team honors in 2018. Smith has become a mainstay in the Denison midfield over the last four years, totaling three goals, including one this year in a 4-0 win over Allegheny. Tcholakian's All-Ohio selection comes after she debuted on the All-NCAC second-team in her rookie season. A native of Farmington Hills, Mich., Tcholakian started all 17 matches in goal for the Big Red while totaling 72 saves, six shutouts, and leading the conference in save percentage (.878) and goals-against average (0.59). She also garnered a career-best 11 saves against No. 18 Centre College on September 15.

Denison finished the 2018 campaign at 12-3-2 overall while posting an undefeated record in the NCAC at 6-0-2. They secured their 10th North Coast Athletic Conference regular-season championship and earned the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.

DU blanks Gators in NCAC opener
September 22, 2018 DU blanks Gators in NCAC opener