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Big Red blanks Terriers for first NCAC win

Bob Casarona scored his team-leading 6th goal in DU's 2-0 win over Hiram.
Bob Casarona scored his team-leading 6th goal in DU's 2-0 win over Hiram.

A pair of second-half goals in roughly four minutes powered the Denison men's soccer team to a 2-0 victory over Hiram College on Friday night in Granville.

After 45 minutes of play, the two squads combined for 11 shots with only four of those attempts reaching the net.  The game started to pick up in the early stages of the second half when Denison broke the scoreless tie.

Fifty-one seconds after an errant shot by Hiram's Andres Ruiz, senior midfielder Bob Casarona scored the game's first goal.  After receiving a pass at the top of the six-yard box from classmate Blake Miller, Casarona juked out his defender and ripped a shot into the lower right 90.  Casarona's team-leading sixth goal came in the 49th minute of play.

Shortly after Denison was issued a yellow card, the Big Red doubled their lead thanks to a costly turnover by the Terriers.  After freshman Mike Bonderud forced the takeaway near the edge of the 18-yard box, he sent a pass to the right side that was one-timed into the lower left corner by sophomore Corey Ricketts.  Ricketts' second goal of the year came at 52:38 and gave DU a 2-0 lead.

Over the final 37+ minutes, the Denison attack continued to apply pressure while the DU backline stymied any scoring threats from Hiram.  The Terriers attempted just three shots during that stretch, with only one requiring a save by senior goalie Matt Wagner.

The Big Red outshot Hiram 14-9 and attempted three corner kicks compared to one by the visiting team.  DU also committed 13 fouls to the Terriers' eight, and both teams were issued a yellow card.  Wagner finished the game with five saves, while Hiram keeper Chris Minite made one save.

Denison moves to 8-1-2 on the year and 1-1 in the NCAC, while the Terriers fall to 4-8-1 and 1-2 in league action.  The Big Red returns to the pitch next Saturday (Oct. 12) when they travel to Springfield, Ohio to take on the Wittenberg Tigers.  Game time is slated for 5 p.m.