Wittenberg (8-0, 11-3) 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 Oberlin (4-4, 10-5) at 5:00 PM, while second-seeded Wooster (7-1, 13-3) welcomes third-seeded Denison (6-2, 9-6) at 7:00 PM. The championship game will be held on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 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 (‘05, ‘08) and Wittenberg (‘14-’15) with two each and Kenyon (2013) and with one.
ALLEGHENY closed out the 2015 campaign with a 1-1 record, using a last-minute goal to upend Oberlin, 11-10, before falling to DePauw in the season finale on Saturday. Junior McKenzie Bell (Akron, OH/Walsh Jesuit) netted the game-winner with five seconds left, pushing the Gators to the victory over the Yeowomen. Classmate Jackie Morrow (Ann Arbor, MI/Skyline) ended the week with a team-leading four goals, all against Oberlin, as the team recognized seniors Sara Schwartz (Pittsburgh, PA/Fox Chapel) and Kelsey Rodgers (Wolfeboro, NH/Kingswood Regional), who closed out their Gator careers on Saturday.
DENISON clinched the No. 3 seed in the NCAC Tournament with wins over DePauw, 15-4, and Hiram, 20-1, last week. Senior Whitney Powel (Shaker Heights, OH/Shaker Heights) scored four goals and led the team with nine assists. She also added seven ground balls, three draw controls and four caused turnovers.
DEPAUW finished the season with a school-record seven wins in its third season, topping the previous total of four in 2013. Sophomore goalie Liz Hawkins (Louisville, KY/Ballard) recorded 16 saves in the win over Allegheny, allowing just four goals.
KENYON'S season came to a close with a 13-11 home loss to Oberlin on Saturday. Freshman Kat Englert (Centennial, CO/Arapahoe) scored five goals for the Ladies, who finished the season with a 9-5 record. Englert had 62 goals on the season, just four short of the Ladies’ single-season record.
HIRAM closed out the 2015 campaign by going 1-2 on the week. The Terriers fell to Kenyon and Denison, but topped non-conference foe Franciscan, 14-13, in overtime on Monday. Sophomore Autumn Osgood (Hyde Park, VT/Lamoille Union) tied the school record with six goals in the contest. She finishes the season with a school record 34 goals and 39 points.
OBERLIN secured its first NCAC Tournament berth since 2000 with a 13-11 come-from-behind victory over Kenyon on Saturday. The Yewomen erased a two-goal deficit by scoring five of the game’s final six goals. Junior Grace Barlow (Elm Grove, WI/Brookfield East) provided the game-winner as one of her season-high seven goals in the game. Oberlin also dropped a midweek heartbreaker to Allegheny as the Gators scored with five seconds to go to earn an 11-10 victory over the Yeowomen.
Sophomore midfielder Haley Savoie (San Diego, CA/Del Norte) opened the second half with a goal that brought OHIO WESLEYAN within 12-8, but Wittenberg closed out the game with an 8-0 run to record an NCAC win over the Bishops on Saturday at Selby Stadium. Savoie led the Bishops with three goals. Senior Jordan Bernstein (Charlotte, NC/Providence) made nine saves during the first 42 minutes of play, and sophomore Natalie Reddy (South Salem, NY/John Jay) had three saves during the final 18 minutes.
WITTENBERG capped off a fourth-straight undefeated conference regular season with its 30th consecutive NCAC regular season victory, earning the Tigers their second-straight regular season title following wins over Wooster, 18-12, and Ohio Wesleyan, 20-8. Senior Logan Warye (Maineville, OH/Kings) led the way with 14 goals and three assists, leading the team in draw controls at 13 while splitting the team lead in ground balls with eight and causing three turnovers.
Despite losing at Wittenberg, 18-12, in its regular season finale, WOOSTER is into the NCAC Tournament for the 22nd time - the only team to appear in every conference tourney.