A pair of first half goals erased an early deficit and powered the Big Red to a 2-1 victory over North Coast Athletic Conference rival Ohio Wesleyan on Saturday in Granville.
After a slow start to the game, the Battling Bishops broke the scoreless tie in the 18th minute. After forcing a turnover in their offensive zone, OWU's Ali Smith ripped a shot from roughly five-yard off the end line that slipped between keeper Laura Campbell's legs and into the cage.
Denison began to apply offensive pressure and finally broke through in the 24th minute. Senior Karla Dixon found classmate Katie McMahon at the top of the shooting circle. McMahon, the reigning NCAC Player of the Week, ripped a shot from the top of the circle that rolled up the left leg of the goalie and into the upper right corner of the goal. McMahon's ninth goal of the year tied the game at 23:17.
Three minutes and 31 seconds after tying the match, Denison gained its first lead of the day when Lizzy Pellicane scored her fourth goal of the year. Junior Sara Hofmann got the play started with a cross from the right side. Senior Taylor Bacon knocked down the cross, setting up Pellicane's redirection into the goal.
Heading into the second half with a 2-1 lead, the Big Red defense held Ohio Wesleyan to just two shots. Both teams each recorded a shot on goal that was knocked aside by the opposing team's goalie. In the 45th minute, Greta Finney attempted to extend DU's lead, but Karson Stevenson kept it a one-goal deficit. The Bishops looked for the equalizer in the 54th minute off the stick of Sadie Slager. However, Campbell was equal to the task and kept her squad in front.
The Big Red held a 17-4 advantage in shots, but only a 4-2 edge in shots on cage. Denison attempted nine penalty corners compared to four by OWU.
McMahon finished the game with five shots and a goal, while Pellicane had four attempts and the game-winning score. Campbell made one save in 70 minutes, while Stevenson recorded two stops.
Denison improves to 9-1 on the year and 7-1 in the NCAC, while the Battling Bishops fall to 5-6 and 3-5 in conference play. DU continues its four-game homestand on Tuesday when they host Wittenberg at 4:30 p.m.