After winning is league-leading 18th NCAC Women’s Lacrosse Championship with a perfect 8-0 record against league foes, Denison has earned the top seed in the 2016 NCAC Women’s Lacrosse Tournament, which begins with semifinal matchups on Wednesday night.
The Big Red (8-0) now entertain fourth-seeded Wooster (4-4) at 6:30 PM on Wednesday night, while second-seeded Wittenberg (6-2) welcomes third-seeded Allegheny (5-3) at 5:00 PM on the same day. 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. However, if Denison hosts the championship game, it will be played on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. due to the 2016 NCAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The tournaament winner receives the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA Div. III Tournament.
Denison leads the way with 18 NCAC titles all-time (1985-1994, ‘96, 1999-’01, ‘06, ‘11-’12, ‘16), 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 will be the third seed in the NCAC Tournament after splitting a pair of games against Oberlin and Denison last week. The Gators nearly knocked off the Big Red, who are undefeated in league play, holding a 12-9 lead with 13:58 remaining, before a 7-2 run became their downfall.
DENISON outscored Allegheny 7-2 over the final 13 minutes of play, rallying from a three-goal deficit to defeat the Gators, 16-14. Carol Allen (Nashville, TN/Ensworth) finished with five goals and two assists. She continues to rise up the ranks in the DU record books. She has scored 147 goals and added 65 assists for 212 points in her career. Denison’s win over DePauw clinched their record 18th NCAC championship.
DEPAUW finished its fourth season at 5-11 overall and 3-5 in the NCAC and matched its best NCAC win total in program history. Emma Flynn (Indianapolis, IN/Cathedral) led the team with 32 goals and 38 points, while Elizabeth McCracken (Cincinnati, OH/Mariemont) led the way with 18 assists.
HIRAM closed the books on the 2016 season with a pair of losses at Kenyon and at home against Ohio Wesleyan. Junior Autumn Osgood (Hyde Park, VT/Lamoille Union) scored six total goals in the two games, bringing her season total to a program record 48. She also broke the program record for assists (8) and points (56).
KENYON played one conference game to wrap up the regular-season. In that game, the Ladies cruised to a 20-3 home win over Hiram. Senior Jane Symmes (Concord, NH/Concord) had six goals, an assist, four groundballs and seven draw controls.
OBERLIN controlled its own destiny for a place in the NCAC Tournament, but the Yeowomen went on the road and fell 14-10 at Allegheny, before concluding the season with a heartbreaking 14-13 loss to Wooster that kept them out of the postseason. Sophomore Natalie Rauchle (Edina, MN / Edina) scored nine goals over the two games, matching a season-high with six against the Scots to give her an NCAC-best total of 62 on the year.
OHIO WESLEYAN closed out the regular season with an impressive 21-11 victory against Hiram on Saturday. Senior midfielder Taylor Weis (Sylvania, OH/Northview) led the Bishops with a career-high seven goals and sophomore midfielder Cory Kinder (Dublin, OH/Scioto) added three goals in the win.
WITTENBERG earned a pair of NCAC victories last week to close out the regualr season, defeating Wooster on Wednesday, before knocking off DePauw on Saturday. Senior Olivia Lash (Cleveland Heights, OH/Cleveland Heights) led the Tigers on the week, scoring 12 goals and assisting on another for 13 total points.
Ellie Hudson-Heck (Medina, OH/Medina) lifted WOOSTER into the NCAC Tournament for the 23rd consecutive season by scoring the game-winner with 1:43 remaining at Oberlin on Saturday, as the Scots edged the Yeowomen, 14-13, with the No. 4 seed on the line between the two teams. Earlier in the week, Wooster fell to Wittenberg, 18-80.