Senior Bob Casarona's goal in the 34th minute powered the Denison Big Red to a 1-0 victory over Wooster on Saturday afternoon at Deeds Field-Piper Stadium in Granville, Ohio.
Roughly three hours before kickoff, the two coaches decided that, instead of playing on a natural grass service that took some damage from the rain, they would play on the artificial turf inside Piper Stadium. Despite the late location changes, the two squads wasted no time generating opportunities. In the first 12+ minutes of play, the two teams combined for seven shots.
In the 16th minute, Denison was awarded its second corner kick of the match. Junior Mark Waterman sent a beautiful cross from the right side to the center of the box. Freshman Quinn Miller, who appeared all by himself in the middle of the 18-yard box, flicked a header that just missed sneaking inside the far post.
The game remained scoreless until the 34th minute when Casarona broke through for his team-leading eight goal of the season. After settling a pass along the right side, senior Blake Miller dribbled down the sideline before sending a cross towards the box. The crossing attempt found the foot of freshman Kyle Skinner who one-touched a pass back to Casarona. The senior softly sent the ball into the lower right 90 at 33:37.
Late in the second half, the Fighting Scots looked for the equalizer after an errant pass bounced off the turf and struck senior defender John Krentz in the forearm inside the 18-yard box. The referee blew his whistle and awarded Wooster a penalty kick with less than 10 minutes to play. Wooster selected junior Philip Charnley to take the PK attempt. Charnley ripped a shot towards the lower left corner that was initially stopped by senior goalie Matt Wagner. However, a loose rebound gave George Skelly a chance to tie the game at 1-1. With the DU keeper scrambling to protect his net, Skelly put his attempt off the left post.
Over the final 10 minutes, the Scots failed to muster a shot as the Big Red secured their third North Coast Athletic Conference win of the season. DU outshot Wooster 15-13, including a 5-2 edge in shots on goal. Denison won the corner battle 7-0 and committed eight fouls, which included two yellow cards, compared to five by the Fighting Scots.
Casarona had a team-high three shots, including his fourth game-winning goal, while five other DU players recorded two shots. Matt Parmelee attempted a game-best five attempts. Wagner finished with two saves en route to his 12th career shutout. Matthew Canter and Aaron McKee each had two stops in 45 minutes each.
Denison improves to 10-2-2 overall and 3-2 in the NCAC, while Wooster falls to 2-9-1 and 0-5 in league action. The Big Red returns to the pitch on Tuesday when they host Oberlin at 7 p.m.