Denison earned its 16th North Coast championship and its first since 2014 after posting a pair of wins last week against Kenyon, 17-6, and Wabash, 25-4. Ohio Wesleyan leads all league teams with 19 conference championships, while Wittenberg has two and Kenyon and Wooster each boast one league title.
The Big Red enter the NCAC Tournament as the top seed and will host fourth-seeded Wooster (5-3, 10-6) on Wednesday evening at 8:00 p.m. In their first meeting this season, Denison knocked off the Fighting Scots by a narrow 9-6 margin on April 13th in Wooster. Second-seeded Ohio Wesleyan (7-1, 12-3) will host third-seeded Kenyon (6-2, 11-3) in the other semifinal match on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. This will be the second matchup this season in Delaware between the two squads, following a 14-7 victory for the Battling Bishops on April 26th. The tournament championship game is set for Saturday at the site of the highest remaining seed to emerge from the semifinal round.
DENISON, ranked sixth in the most recent USILA poll, closed out the regular season with a 25-4 win over Wabash to clinch the program’s 16th NCAC Championship. Blair Farinholt (Richmond, VA/St. Christopher’s School) led Denison in scoring with three goals and six assists in victories over Kenyon and Wabash last week. Against Kenyon, he finished with a career-high five assists and one goal, running his career points total to 161.
DEPAUW finished the season at 6-9 overall and 3-5 in the NCAC to tie the school record for overall wins and set a new standard for NCAC wins. The Tigers have moved up one spot in the standings each of the last three seasons.
HIRAM saw its 2016 season draw to a close with a pair of losses. The Terriers fell to Oberlin on Wednesday night, 22-8, and then fell at Kenyon on Saturday, 21-5. Senior Chris Lekan (North Olmsted, OH/Holy Name) posted hat tricks in both Terrier contests.
KENYON split two conference games to finish off its regular-season schedule. Tuesday, the Lords traveled to Denison and suffered a 17-6 setback against the sixth-ranked Big Red. Saturday, the Lords returned home and defeated Hiram, 21-5. Junior Alex Lopez (Portola Valley, CA/Woodside) led the Lords with four goals at Denison and sophomore Chris Ferraro (Manhasset, NY/Manhasset) took over against Hiram with six goals.
OBERLIN concluded its season, downing Hiram, 22-8, before dropping a 9-8 overtime heartbreaker at DePauw. The loss was the seventh of the season by three goals or less for the Yeomen as they conclude the year at 5-10 overall and 2-6 in NCAC action.
OHIO WESLEYAN, ranked 15th in the most recent USILA poll, split a pair of NCAC contests last week, secured the second seed going into the NCAC Tournament after wins last week against DePauw and Wooster. Freshman Max Tennant (Englewood, CO/Cherry Creek) led the Bishops with 10 goals and two assists for 12 total points combined in the two games.
WABASH wrapped up its second varsity season with losses at Wittenberg, 15-6, and at home versus Denison, 25-4. Steven Stark (Indianapolis, IN/Cathedral) scored four goals and handed out three assists. He finished the season as the Little Giants’ leader in goals (40), assists (22), and total points (62).
WITTENBERG closed out the 2016 season by splitting a pair of games last week, defeating Wabash, before falling to non-conference foe Aurora on Saturday. In the win over Wabash, senior Andrew Fuss (New Albany, OH/Gahanna Lincoln) led the way with two goals and five assists for seven total points.
WOOSTER will look to put a 22-6 loss at 13th-ranked Ohio Wesleyan in the regular season finale behind it, as the Scots play Denison in the NCAC Tournament semifinals this Wednesday. Sophomore long-stick midfielder Jack Gilio (New Canaan, CT/New Canaan) provided a few highlights on Saturday with game-high totals of nine groundballs and five caused turnovers.