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Denison Drops OT Thriller in NCAA Quarterfinals

Denison Drops OT Thriller in NCAA Quarterfinals

Round Three Recap (5/18/16)

Thomas Crillio's goal 37 seconds into overtime pushed No. 3 Salisbury to an 11-10 victory over No. 6 Denison in the quarterfinals of the 2016 NCAA Division III Tournament. The Seagulls advance to the NCAA Semifinals on Sunday while Denison's season comes to an end with a final record of 18-2.

Trailing 10-8 with just over four minutes to play, junior Liam Rooney (Redding, CT/Joel Barlow) scored on a diving sidearm shot to make it a 10-9 game with 3:32 to play. Salisbury won the ensuing faceoff and took control on offense. With 1:20 left, the officials called for the 30-second shot clock to be instituted. The Denison defense was stout, forcing the shot clock to expire, giving the ball back to the Big Red with 52 seconds left.

With 24 seconds to go, Rooney fed
Blair Farinholt (Richmond, VA/St. Christopher's School) who was camped out 15-yards from the goal. Farinholt's ripper got by Colin Reymann, sending the game into overtime.

To start the overtime period, Salisbury gained possession of the opening faceoff after an interference call on the Big Red. Less than a minute later, Crillio broke through and fired the winning from 12-yards away for the victory.

Denison was outshot 39-26 and Salisbury controlled possession by winning 17-of-24 faceoffs. Despite the gap on the stat sheet, Denison kept pace with the Seagulls every step of the way.

Denison goalie
Chris Thomas (Cockeysville, MD/Loyola Blakefield) was outstanding, finishing with 13 saves powered by four in each of the final three quarters.  Senior Eric Baumgardner (Washington, DC/Gonzaga College) won seven faceoffs and finished with one ground ball. He leaves DU as the program's all-time leader in ground balls with 369.

Rooney led DU with four goals and one assist. 
Jake Waxter (Baltimore, MD/Gilman) followed with a hat trick while Farinholt scored a pair of goals. Owen Armstrong (Charlotte, NC/Charlotte Latin) scored once and Chris Haimbaugh (Dublin, OH/Dublin Jerome) added an assist.

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Round Two Recap (5/14/16)

Denison's winning streak reached 17 following a 12-3 victory over Aurora University in the second round of the 2016 NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Tournament at Piper Stadium on Saturday night.  With the win, Denison will make its 13th appearance in the NCAA Quarterfinals on Wednesday, May 18 at Salisbury University.

The victory also was special for Denison head coach Mike Caravana as he moved into first place in career wins at DU with 256, passing his predecessor, Tommy Thomsen who guided the Big Red from 1966-90 to a record of 255-97 (.724).

Sixth-ranked Denison outscored the Spartans 7-1 in the second half behind two goals and two assists by junior attackman Liam Rooney.  The Big Red scored the three goals in a three-minute span in the opening quarter as Jake WaxterAlex Paulus and Josh Happ got their team going.

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Round One Recap (5/11/16)

Sixth-ranked Denison (17-1) cruised into the second round of the 2016 NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Tournament after a 19-2 victory over Carthage 9-9) in the opening round on Wednesday afternoon in Granville. With the win, Big Red head coach Mike Caravana tied the legendary Tommy Thomsen with 255 career victories.  A win on Saturday would move him into first place in career wins at DU.

The Big Red, who will now square off against Aurora (17-2) on Saturday at a site to be determined by the NCAA today (5/12), wasted little time lighting up the scoreboard against the Red Men as the jumped out to a 5-0 lead after one quarter of play, which included two goals apiece in the opening frame from juniors Alex Paulus (Bath, ME/Morse) and Liam Rooney (Redding, CT/Joel Barlow). DU did surrender two goals to Carthage in the second quarter, but the Big Red put up a clean sheet in the second half en route to capturing the 17-point opening-round victory.

Although Paulus and Rooney scored the early goals, senior midfielder Blair Farinholt (Richmond, VA/St. Christopher's School) and junior attack Will Donohue (Charlotte, NC/Charlotte Latin School) each tallied a hat trick with one goal in the second quarter and two goals each in the third quarter. Senior midfielder Eric Baumgardner (Washington, D.C./Gonzaga School), who led DU with eight ground balls, controlled the face-off "x" throughout the game by winning 14-of-19 attempts, while senior goalie Chris Thomas (Cockeysville, MD/Loyola Blakefield) allowed just two goals and hauled in nine saves in 45 minutes of action.

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After winning the NCAC Tournament last Saturday with a thrilling 12-11 overtime victory over Ohio Wesleyan, the Denison men’s lacrosse team will now host Carthage in the opening-round of the 2016 NCAA Division III Tournament this Wednesday, May 11th, at Piper Stadium in Granville, Ohio. Game time is set for 2 p.m. on Wednesday. Ticket prices are $6 for adults, $3 for students and $2 for children (ages 3-12).

Denison and Carthage will be meeting for the first time in history, with the winner advancing to the second round to square off against either Aurora or Albion on Saturday, May 14.

The Big Red, who ranked sixth in the nation on the latest USILA national poll, will be making their 21st NCAA Div. III Tournament appearance, and their eighth bid since 2005. 

Through the first 17 games of the season, Denison has been led offensively by senior midfielder Blair Farinholt (Richmond, VA/St. Christopher’s School) and junior attack Liam Rooney (Redding, CT/Joel Barlow) with 52 points each. Farinholt is second on the team in goals with 30 to go along with 22 assists, while Rooney leads the Big Red with 29 assists and 23 goals. The 2016 NCAC Offensive Player of the Year James Meager (Worthington, OH/Worthington Kilbourne) leads the team in scoring with 40 goals. He scored the game-tying and game-winning goal in last weekend’s victory over Ohio Wesleyan. 

The Denison defense, led by the likes of Ben Duhoski (Millbrook, NY/The Millbrook School), Teddy Sawyer (Lutherville, MD/McDonogh School), Liam Burman (Baltimore, MD/Boys Latin School), John Reinhardt (York Harbor, ME/Berwick Academy), Josh Happ (Columbus, OH/Worthington Kilbourne) and Brian Miller (Worthington, OH/Worthington Kilbourne), is ranked fifth in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 6.12 goals per game.  Senior goalie Chris Thomas (Cockeysville, MD/Loyola Blakefield) has started all 17 games. He carries a 6.24 GAA and a .550 save percentage into the playoffs.

Despite defeating Illinois Wesleyan, 13-8, in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin’s Championship game on Saturday, Carthage (10-9) had to wait to see if they would received a “Pool B” bid into the tournament as the CCIW doesn’t have an automatic qualifier. The Red Men are making their second-straight NCAA Div. III tournament appearance.