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Kenyon tops DU in NCAC Semis

Margaret Iglar (17) and Carol Allen (11) go for a ground ball against Kenyon.
Margaret Iglar (17) and Carol Allen (11) go for a ground ball against Kenyon.

The Kenyon College defense clamped down, and over the final 30 minutes managed to outscore Denison, 6-1.  The result was a 12-8 loss by the No. 3 seed Big Red at the hands of No. 2 seed, Kenyon in the semifinals of the 2013 North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament from Mavec Field in Gambier, Ohio.

The Ladies set the tone early by erasing a 1-0 Denison lead with four straight goals over a two minute span early in the first half.  That run by Kenyon would be answered quickly by DU as Molly Chapman scored her first goal of the game with 23:11 to play in the opening period.  That would spark a 6-2 streak by Denison to close out the first half with a 7-6 lead.  Aside from Chapman's score, Denison's seven first half goals would come from Carol Allen (3), Erin Keller, Lizzy Pellicane, and Whitney Powel.

The Big Red's seven goals came on 13 shot attempts.  Meanwhile, senior goalie Grace Bodenmann posted four saves in the first 30 minutes of action.

In the second half, Kenyon struck first and tied the game at 7-7 five minutes into the half when Ansen Burr found Amy Morgan.  After a pair of Denison turnovers, Kenyon's NCAA Division III assist leader, Leah Sack, would connect with Emily Nichols for the go-ahead goal with 22:46 to play.  Less than a minute later the duo would hook up once more, putting the home team on top 9-7.

The Big Red would win the ensuing draw, but a turnover forced by Kenyon's Jane Symmes would turn into a score by Alex Bair that lifted Kenyon to a 3-goal lead with 20 minutes left on the clock.

The next 10 minutes would tick off the clock without a score until Denison's Chapman notched her second goal of the contest off an 8-meter attempt after a foul on Kenyon's Margaret Armstrong.

Now trailing 10-8 with plenty of time left, this is where Denison needed to make its move.  Kenyon had other ideas as Armstrong provided a big ground ball after a Big Red turnover and Alex Bair converted on the offensive end, erasing some of Denison's new-found momentum.

With 4:50 remaining, Symmes would score the final goal of the game that would eventually set the final at 12-8 in favor of the Ladies.

Chapman would pace DU with four points (2 goals, 2 assists) and four draw controls while Allen followed with her three goals.  Keller scored once but contributed four draw controls and a team-high five ground balls.  Rachel Pregel led the Denison defense with four caused turnovers while Elsie Humes also posted four ground balls and one caused turnover.

Sack led Kenyon with four assists and one goal while Symmes racked up 11 ground balls, six draw controls and three caused turnovers while proving to be the difference maker for the Ladies in the second half.

Bodenmann turned in six saves for Denison in her 45 minutes of action.  Kenyon goalkeeper Meredith Bentsen stopped eight would-be Big Red goals while playing all 60 minutes.

The Ladies held a 31-25 advantage in shots while both teams committed 24 turnovers.  Kenyon also held a crucial 36-27 lead in ground balls.

Denison's 2013 season comes to an end with an outstanding 13-3 record while Kenyon moves to 12-2 and will host No. 4 seed Wooster in the NCAC Tournament Championship on Saturday (May 4).  Wooster knocked off top-seeded Wittenberg, 14-13 in overtime to advance to the conference final.