Wittenberg (8-0, 13-2) has claimed the top seed in the North Coast Athletic Conference tournament, which begins with semifinal match-ups on Wednesday. The Tigers entertain fourth-seeded Wooster (5-3, 5-7) at 6:00 PM, while second-seeded Allegheny (7-1, 15-1) welcomes third-seeded Denison (6-2, 11-4), at 6:00 PM. The championship game will be held on Saturday afternoon at 5:00 PM at the site of the highest remaining seed to emerge from the semifinal round. The tournament winner receives the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Div. III Tournament.
Denison leads the way with 17 NCAC titles all-time (1985-1994, '96, 1999-'01, '06, '11-'12), followed by Wooster with six (2002-04, '07, '09, '10), Oberlin with three (1995, '97-'98), Ohio Wesleyan with two ('05, '08) and Kenyon with one (2013).
ALLEGHENY finished the regular season with a 15-1 record after a 2-0 week, upending conference foes Hiram and Ohio Wesleyan to finish the conference slate with a program-best 7-1 mark. Sophomore McKenzie Bell (Akron, OH/Walsh Jesuit) tied a program record with nine assists, the highest total since the 2011 season, in the Gators' 17-1 win over the Terriers. Fellow second-year Jacqueline Morrow (Ann Arbor, MI/Skyline) scored a team-high four goals in the victory. Four goals each from senior Kelly Dickson (Pittsburgh, PA/Vincentian Academy) and junior Kelsey Rodgers (Wolfeboro, NH/Kingswood Regional) vaulted the Gators to a 17-12 win over Ohio Wesleyan.
DENISON secured the No. 3 seed in the 2014 NCAC Tournament following back-to-back road wins at Kenyon, 16-12, and Hiram, 18-2. Freshman Claire Ludlow (Saugatuck, MI/East Grand Rapids) paced the Big Red with seven goals last week, including a five-goal performance at Kenyon. Junior Whitney Powell (Shaker Heights, OH/Westminster School [Conn.]) finished the week with four goals and three assists, including a hat-trick against Hiram. Junior Molly Chapman (Greenwich, CT/Millbrook School) controlled 15 draws, while senior Lauren Adams (Louisville, KY/Kentucky Country Day) scooped up eight ground balls and caused four turnovers.
DEPAUW finished the regular season with a 3-10 record after dropping its final game of the year, 15-7, at Kenyon. Elizabeth McCracken (Cincinnati, OH/Mariemont) and Taylor Summers (Cambridge, MD/Saints Peter and Paul H.S.) each scored twice in Saturday's season finale. McCracken led the Tigers in goals (23), assists (14), points (37), while Carey Kunz (Indianapolis, IN/Park Tudor) led with 27 ground balls and 10 caused turnovers.
KENYON senior Alex Bair (Darien, CT/Darien) racked up eight goals in her final two games and guided the Ladies to a split of home conference contests. In Wednesday's 16-12 loss to Denison, Bair sparked a second-half rally and finished the game with five goals and two assists. Saturday, she chalked up three more goals in the Ladies' 17-5 win over DePauw.
HIRAM dropped its final two games of the regular season, falling to Allegheny, 17-1, and Denison, 18-2. The Terriers end the year with a 3-13 overall record.
OBERLIN dropped its final two games of the season, to just miss out on a bid for the NCAC Tournament. First-year Sara Phister (Phoenix, AZ/Mountain Pointe) led the Yeowomen with six goals in the loss to Wooster. Classmate Marissa Maxfield (Orland Park, IL/Carl Sandburg) also had a good all-around week for Oberlin, scoring one goal to go along with 14 groundballs, four draw controls and one caused turnover.
OHIO WESLEYAN dropped its final two games of the 2014 season, falling to Wooster, 18-9, and Allegheny, 17-12. The Bishops end the year with an overall record of 8-9 including a 2-6 mark in league play.
WITTENBERG wrapped up sole possession of its first-ever NCAC title with an 18-11 win over Oberlin before finishing off the regular season with a 23-10 Senior Day victory against Carthage. Senior Alie Marousek (Ballston Lake, NY/Portsmouth (NH)) exploded for 10 goals and four assists across the two games, while junior Logan Warye (Maineville, OH/Kings) had seven goals and six assists and senior Francine Murzynski (Mentor, OH/Lake Catholic) posted six goals, six assists and six caused turnovers.
Junior Shelby Stone (Grosse Pointe Park, MI/Grosse Pointe South) was WOOSTER'S top scorer in both must-win games last week, leading the Scots to the final spot in the NCAC Tournament field. She totaled six points, including four goals on four shots, during the 18-9 win at Ohio Wesleyan and then netted five goals in the 15-11 victory at Oberlin. Three of those five goals came in a row midway through the second half when Wooster broke the game open, turning an 11-10 lead into 14-10 with 11:33 to play.