Denison Storms Into NCAA Quarterfinal Round

Denison Sophomore Spencer Butler | Photo by Jace Delgado
Denison Sophomore Spencer Butler | Photo by Jace Delgado

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No. 5 Denison sprinted out to a fast start, scoring 11 of the game’s first 12 goals through the first 18 minutes of the contest to defeat Illinois Wesleyan, 25-11 in Saturday’s NCAA Third Round contest at Piper Stadium in Granville, OH. The Big Red will now advance into the NCAA quarterfinals for the third time in the last four years and the 14th time overall where they will host Lynchburg on Wednesday, May 17 at 2:00 p.m. 

Denison rang up four goals in the first 1:37 of play behind strikes from Spencer Butler (Essex Falls, NJ/Millbrook School), Liam Rooney (Redding, CT/Joel Barlow), Henry DeCamp (Washington, DC/Deerfield Academy) and Ben Duhoski (St. Thomas, USVI/The Millbrook School). Butler went on to score 11 goals, breaking the Denison single-game scoring record and the NCAA Division III Tournament scoring record. The previous record was eight, set by four different individuals, while the Denison record was 10 set by Chris Wolfington in 1990.

Butler ended with 11 goals, but his teammate, Rooney, tied him for the team lead in points thanks to his four goal, seven assist effort. Rooney has 80 assists and 36 goals this season. His career points total has risen to 272 in 66 career games played.

In the first quarter, Illinois Wesleyan was winning faceoffs but they failed to maintain possession long enough to get into a settled offensive set. Duhoski had five caused turnovers in the game.  As a team, DU caused 14 of IWU’s 29 turnovers.  The ground ball game was dominated by the Big Red as they won the category 45-26. 

Stephen Paras (Barrington, RI/Barrington) got the start in the cage for the Big Red, combined with Will Howard (Del Mar, CA/Cathedral) to make 11 saves on the evening. Denison outshot the Titans, 61-28 and was 20-of-25 when clearing the ball.  Denison’s top-ranked man-up unit was 4-of-7.

Illinois Wesleyan was led in scoring by Michael Julius who finished with four goals and one assist. Titan goalie Steven Laduzinsky had 15 saves in 60 minutes of work.

Denison advanced into the third round after defeating Carthage, 17-9, last Wednesday (5/10) behind the strength of five goals from Will Donohue (Charlotte, NC/Charlotte Latin School) and five assists from Rooney. DeCamp was an impressive 21-for-26 in the faceoff x and Teddy Sawyer (Lutherville, MD/McDonogh School) caused a team-best five. Denison outshot Carthage 43-19 and dominated the ground ball game, 42-11.

Denison improves to 17-1 while running their winning streak to 17 games.