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Sat Mar 11
4 Montclair St.
13 vs. #19 Denison
@ U.S. Lacrosse Headquarters in Sparks, Md.
Fri Mar 17
11 #17 Denison
3 vs. #11 Dickinson
@ Stevenson University in Owings Mills, Md.
Sat Mar 18
6 Nazareth
17 vs. #17 Denison
@ Stevenson University in Owings Mills, Md.
Sat Mar 25
20 #12 Denison
4 at DePauw
in Greencastle, Ind.
Sat Apr 01
10 Wittenberg
18 #10 Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Tue Apr 04
26 #10 Denison
1 at Hiram
in Hiram, Ohio
Sat Apr 08
5 Oberlin
21 #10 Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Wed Apr 12
17 #4 Denison
6 at Wooster
in Wooster, Ohio
Sun Apr 16
12 #4 Denison
8 at Ohio Wesleyan
in Delaware, Ohio
Wed Apr 19
23 #4 Denison
5 at Kenyon
in Gambier, Ohio
Sat Apr 22
1 Wabash
25 #4 Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Wed Apr 26
3 Wooster
21 #4 Denison
in Granville, Ohio - NCAC Tournament Semifinal
Sun Apr 30
8 Ohio Wesleyan
16 #4 Denison
in Granville, Ohio - NCAC Tournament Championship
Wed May 10
9 Carthage
17 #4 Denison
in Granville, Ohio - NCAA Tournament Second Round
Sat May 13
11 Ill. Wesleyan
25 #5 Denison
in Granville, Ohio - NCAA Tournament Third Round
Wed May 17
9 #16 Lynchburg
18 #5 Denison
in Granville, Ohio - NCAA Tournament Quarterfinal
Sun May 21
11 #5 Denison
12 at #1 Salisbury
in Salisbury, Md. - NCAA Tournament Semifinal
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Denison rally stymied by Salisbury in NCAA Semifinals

(#5) Will Donohue   |  Photo by Joey Gardner
(#5) Will Donohue | Photo by Joey Gardner

SALISBURY, Md.--  Powered by a ferocious fourth quarter comeback, No. 5 Denison had momentum on their side and No. 1 Salisbury on the ropes.  With 31 seconds left, trailing 12-11, the Big Red had the ball with a chance to tie the game and force overtime with the Sea Gulls for the second-straight year. 

All of that momentum hit the skids when Salisbury defenseman Aaron Leeds anticipated a pass from Denison's Liam Rooney with 10 seconds left.  Leeds picked it off, quickly clearing the ball into Salisbury territory to ice a 12-11 victory for the Sea Gulls, extinguishing the Big Red's championship dreams for another year.

With the win, Salisbury advances to the national championship game next weekend in Foxborough, Massachusetts where they will face RIT for the title.  Denison ends its season at 18-2 having advanced to the NCAA semifinals for the third time in program history.

Denison and Salisbury entered the game as evenly matched on paper as any two teams in the country.  When the margin of error is that minuscule, the smallest of runs can feel as if the world is crashing down around you.  Salisbury's big run came in the second quarter where they scored four-straight to take a 7-3 lead.  A solid third quarter for the Sea Gulls resulted in their largest lead at 10-5 with 4:48 left in the quarter. 

Less than a minute later, Denison's Teddy Sawyer secured a loose ball at midfield and flipped the ball to Will Donohue who scored from 10-yards out.  Over the final four minutes of the third, neither team scored and that allowed the Big Red to gain some confidence and composure entering the final quarter.

One minute into the fourth, Alex Paulus stepped into one from 12-yards out on a pass from Rooney to make it a 10-7 contest.  Another minute elapsed, then Donohue scored on Rooney's third assist of the day to make it, 10-8.

After a DU turnover, Salisbury capitalized when Kevin McDermott fed Nick Garbarino for his fifth goal of the afternoon, putting SU back on top by three.

Denison remained focused, winning the ensuing faceoff.  On the ground ball scoop, Henry DeCamp got out in transition and fed Donohue who went low on Sea Gull goalie Colin Reymann for his fourth goal of the game and 64th of the season.

Salisbury increased their lead to three when Corey Gwin sidestepped the Denison defense to score on the doorstep.  With 8:19 remaining, SU held a 12-9 lead.

A long possession from Denison was cashed in as Donohue scored on a pass from Pittroff with 4:23 left.  Denison regained possession on a loose ball push by the Sea Gulls only to have Davy's shot draw iron and ricochet back toward midfield.  The Big Red regained possession and Davy's second attempt was saved by Reymann.

Just when it was looking as if Denison's opportunity may have passed them by, junior defensive midfielder Hannibal George picked off a clearing pass by Reymann just beyond midfield.  With the Salisbury goalie out of position, George sent a 40-yard shot over Reymann's head and into the goal.  With 2:50 remaining, Denison had cut the deficit to 12-11.

Salisbury won a long drawn out faceoff deep in their own territory.  Taking possession with 1:45 left, officials quickly put Salisbury on the clock.  Denison's defense clamped down, forcing a shot clock violation and turnover with 47 seconds to play.

That led to Leeds' fifth caused turnover and ground ball of the afternoon and the eventual victory for Salisbury.

Donohue led Denison with five goals on eight shots.  He and Spencer Butler end the year with 65 goals, tying for the single-season record at DU.  Rooney's All-American career also comes to an end with a one goal, three assist effort.  He closed out 2017 with 88 assists, the third-most assists ever in a single season in Division III. 

Sawyer and George led the defense with two caused turnovers apiece.  In all, Denison caused eight of Salisbury's 15 turnovers.  Conversely, Salisbury had a direct hand in 11 of the Big Red's 16 miscues.  Leeds, who ended up being the hero for the home team, had five caused turnovers and five ground balls.

Garbarino paced Salisbury with five goals on 11 shots.  All-American and player of the year candidate, Nathan Blondino was held to one goal and one assist on only two shot attempts.

In goal, Denison's Stephen Paras posted five saves while Reymann ended with four.

In the team totals, Denison edged Salisbury in shots, 31-30 and won the ground ball battle, 33-26.  Turnovers were 16-15 in favor of Salisbury and the Sea Gulls were 1-for-3 in extra-man.  Denison, who entered the game with the nation's top man-up conversion percentage, was 0-for-4.

With the win, Salisbury's NCAA home winning streak is extended to 40.  Their last home defeat in the NCAA Tournament came at the hands of Denison in 2001.

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