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Miller’s OT goal secures DU win

Blake Miller's (9) OT header against Capital kept DU's winning streak alive.
Blake Miller's (9) OT header against Capital kept DU's winning streak alive.

Denison senior midfielder Blake Miller buried a header with 34.4 seconds left in the first overtime to send the Big Red to a 3-2 victory over Capital on Wednesday night in Granville.  The OT goal also keeps DU unbeaten in 2013 and extended their current winning streak to six games.

Following a scoreless second half, the two squads took the field for the first of potentially two 10 minute overtime periods.  The Crusaders logged the first shot of overtime, an attempt by Tim McCarthy that was stopped by senior keeper Matt Wagner.

After that early shot by Capital, the game turned into the Miller show as the senior did everything he could to give Denison its sixth victory of the season.  The senior midfielder sent his first attempt well over the goal two minutes into the period.  At the 94:30 mark, senior Charlie Allen sent a beautiful cross from the left side that found the head of his classmate.  Miller fired an attempt that was snagged by Crusader netminder Bob Weisgarber.  In the 98th minute, he flicked a softer header that was easily corralled by the opposing goalie.

Despite three unsuccessful attempts, Miller continued to fight and finally found the back of the net with 34.4 seconds remaining on the game clock.  From the right side of the field, sophomore Jake Marsh sent in a beautiful cross.  With the ball heading towards the center of the box, Miller came flying in for the diving header that got past Weisgarber and went into the lower left corner, sending the Big Red and their fans into a frenzy.

Denison outshot Capital 4-1 in overtime and held a 22-12 advantage in the match.  The Big Red also attempted 10 corners compared to one by the visiting team.  The two squads also combined for 17 fouls and four yellow cards.

The Crusaders needed just one shot to gain the early advantage in the first half.  Less than a minute after being issued their first of three yellow cards, Capital broke the scoreless tie when Luke Bobst found Nick Eley for the game's first score in the 13th minute.

At 16:02, reigning North Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Week Quinn Miller scored his fourth goal of the season off an assist from Mark Waterman.  The junior midfielder sent a low cross from the right that was tapped into the lower left 90 by Miller.  Just 23 second after DU came up with the equalizer, the Crusaders regained their lead when Eley scored his second goal of the match off a failed clear attempt by the Denison defense.

Denison tied the match for the second time in the 22nd minute of the game.  After Tony Macioce was booked for aggressive play, Waterman set up a free kick from just outside the 18-yard box.  In a bit of Déjà vu from Sunday's win against Mount Union, the junior scored on the free kick to knot the match at 2-2.  Waterman has scored all three of his goals this season off set pieces.

Each team recorded two shots over the final 23 minutes of the period before entering the half deadlocked at 2-2.  The Big Red held a 10-7 edge in shots in the second half, but the score remained tied as Denison prepared for its second overtime match of the season.

Blake Miller recorded a game-high five shots, including the game winner in the 100th minute.  Senior defender John Krentz had three shots, while five different DU players attempted two shots.  Wagner finished the night with four saves en route to his fifth win of the season, while Weisgarber made eight stops in the loss.

Denison improves to 6-0-1 on the year, while Capital falls to 3-1-2.  The Big Red looks to extend its winning streak on Saturday when they travel to Heidelberg for a 2 p.m. match in Tiffin, Ohio.