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Denison Wins 4th NCAC Tournament Title

Denison won its league-leading 4th NCAC Men's Lacrosse Tournament Title with a 14-7 victory over Ohio Wesleyan
Denison won its league-leading 4th NCAC Men's Lacrosse Tournament Title with a 14-7 victory over Ohio Wesleyan

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Second-seeded Denison (15-3) captured its third-straight NCAC Men's Lacrosse Tournament title after knocking off top-seeded Ohio Wesleyan (15-3) by a 14-7 margin in the championship game on Saturday (4/28) afternoon at Selby Stadium in Delaware, Ohio.

Ohio Wesleyan opened the scoring in the game with a goal from junior attack Steven Hildebrand (Berwyn, PA/Conestoga) just three minutes into the game, but the Big Red closed out the first quarter with four goals, including two-straight unnassisted tallies from junior attack Spencer Butler (Essex Fells, NJ/Millbrook School) to open that stretch. 

Butler then netted his third goal of the first half early in the second quarter and the Big Red outscored the Bishops by a 3-2 margin to close out the first half with an 8-4 lead over the Bishops.

Denison extended the lead out to 10-4 in the early minutes of the third quarter and increased its lead to 14-5 late in the fourth quarter on a goal from junior attack Brooks Davy (Wilmington, NC/Episcopal), before OWU closed the book on the scoring with two goals late in the fourth quarter.

Freshman goalie Reeves McKenney (Roanoke, VA/Culver Acad.) stepped up big for Denison in the title game as he made nine saves on 31 faced shots, while junior Henry DeCamp (Washington, DC/Deerfield Academy) again dominated the game at the faceoff-x, winning 18-of-25 total attempts and also finishing the game with 11 total groundballs. Butler led all scorers in the game with four goals, while sophomore attack Peter Pittroff (Charlotte, NC/Country Day) added five points with two goals and three assists. 

For OWU, junior attack Steven Hildebrand (Berwyn, PA/Conestoga) led the Bishops with two goals, while junior attack Jack Jeschke (Syracuse, NY/Christian Brothers Acad.) and junior midfielder Cole Jamieson (Okemos, MI/Okemos) each finished the game with one goal and one assist. Finally, senior Ben Rigger (Decatur, GA/Decatur) finished the game with 10 saves in the OWU goal.

2018 NCAC Men's Lacrosse All-Tournament Team

Donny Bleifuss, DePauw
Ben Sherman, DePauw
Patrick Coughlin, Kenyon
Pierce Kraft, Kenyon
Aaron Carroll, Ohio Wesleyan
Luke Leyden, Ohio Wesleyan
Justin Smith, Ohio Wesleyan
Max Tennant, Ohio Wesleyan
Spencer Butler, Denison
Hannibal George, Denison
Owen Armstrong, Denison
Liam Burman, Denison

Tournament MVP: Reeves McKenney, Denison

Semifinals: Wednesday, April 25 Championship: Saturday, April 28
#1 Ohio Wesleyan 21, #4 DePauw 6 {Box} Denison 14, Ohio Wesleyan, 7 {Box}
#2 Denison 14, #3 Kenyon 6 {Box} Championship Game Photo Gallery
Tickets -- Directions -- Tournament Stats -- History -- Tournament Apparel (code: ncacmlax)


The seeds held in the semifinal round of the 2018 NCAC Men's Lacrosse Tournament, setting up the sixth meeting in the row in the championship game between top-seeded Ohio Wesleyan (15-2) and second-seeded Denison (14-3). This year's tournament title clash will be played on Saturday, April 28th, at 4:00 p.m. at OWU's Selby Stadium in Delaware, Ohio. Denison holds a 3-2 edge over OWU in NCAC Tournament title games, with the Big Red capturing the title in each of the last two seasons. 

Ohio Wesleyan, ranked ninth in the nation in the latest USILA Div. III Top-20, got four-straight goals from junior attack Max Tennant (Englewood, CO/Cherry Creek) in the first four minutes of the game and the Bishops never looked back from there as they posted a 21-6 win over DePauw (7-12) in the first semifinal matchup on Wednesday night. While OWU got the win and advanced to the NCAC tournament title game for the sixth year in a row, it was also a historic night for the DePauw program as they played in their first postseason game since launching their men's lacrosse program just five years ago. Tennant finished the game with eight goals and two assists for 10 total points to lead the Bishops, while while four different players registered a point for the Tigers, led by senior attack Ben Sherman (Zionsville, IN/Community) assisting on the opening goal of the third period and scoring a goal of his own later in the fourth frame. Tennant's eight goals raised his season total to 71, which broke the program's single-season mark of 64 set by Don Sheehan in 1981 and matched by Dave Maguire in both 1996 and 97, and also topped the NCAC's single-season record of 65 set by the DU tandem of Spencer Butler and Will Donohue in 2017.

In the second semifinal game on Wednesday night, Denison, ranked 11th in the USILA Top-20, used timely scoring and a stingy defensive effort to earn a 14-6 victory over Kenyon at Piper Stadium in Granville, Ohio. Like OWU in the first game of the night, the Big Red stormed out to an early lead against the Lords by netting four of the five goals that were scored in the opening frame, highlighted by sophomore attack Peter Pittroff (Charlotte, NC/Country Day) closing out the quarter with back-to-back goals in the final two minutes. Kenyon did cut the lead to three at 8-5 late in the second quarter on a goal from sophomore midfielder Sam Humphrey (Westlake, OH/St. Ignatius) at the 6:55 mark, but DU got a goal of their own a minute later from sophomore midfielder Josiah Wilson (Bridgeport, CT/Kent School) to take a 9-5 lead into half. Kenyon did get the first goal of the second half on a shot from senior Jonah Florence (Decatur, GA/Decatur) just 1:30 into the period, but the Big Red scored the final five goals of the game to post the eight-goal victory over the Lords. After assisting on six of DU's 14 goals, Pittroff led all scorers in the game with nine points (3g, 6a), freshman goalie Reeves McKenney (Roanoke, VA/Culver Acad.) finished the game with 10 saves in goal for the Big Red. In addition, DU junior Henry DeCamp (Washington, DC/Deerfield Acad.) made his mark on the game by scooping up 10 ground balls and winning 18-of-23 attempts at the faceoff-x. Robbins led the Lords with three points on two goals and one assist, while sophomore Matt Pantalon (Hamden, CT/Hamden Hall Country Day) finished the game with five saves in the Kenyon goal.



Ohio Wesleyan put the finishing touches on its league-leading 20th North Coast men's lacrosse championship with a perfect 8-0 record this season after knocking off Wooster by a 14-7 margin on Saturday, April 21st. Denison is second all time with 17 conference titles, followed by Wittenberg with two and Kenyon and Wooster with one each.

As league champions, the Bishops will enter the 2018 NCAC Men's Lacrosse Tournament as the top seed and will host fourth-seeded DePauw (4-4) on Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. In the first meeting between the two teams this year, OWU earned a 20-2 win over the Tigers in Delaware. This will be DePauw's first appearance in the NCAC Men's Lacrosse Tournament since launching its program in the 2013 season. In the the other semifinal game on Wednesday night, second-seeded Denison (7-1) will entertain the third seed Kenyon (5-3) at 7:30 p.m. in Granville. The Big Red recently posted a 25-1 win over the Lords in the penultimate game of the regular season for both squad. 

The tournament championship game is set for Saturday, April 28th at the site of the highest remaining seed to emerge from the semifinal round. The winner of the NCAC Tournament will receive the league's automatic bid into the 2018 NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Tournament.