Big Red Stun Lynchburg, Stevenson Awaits
from press release
LYNCHBURG, Va. - Four years ago, Denison's 11-man senior class made the trip south for an NCAA Tournament second round match to face one of the top seeds in the South Region. That day the Big Red played nearly perfect lacrosse and defeated Roanoke, 14-7, on its home field.
Since that time the DU senior class have accomplished many things, but they had yet to advance beyond the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
All of that changed on Saturday night in Lynchburg, Va. as the underdog Big Red, despite a sparkling 14-1 record, knocked off third-ranked Lynchburg, 10-5.
The win sends Denison to the Elite 8 for the 12th time in program history where they will face Stevenson (Md.) on Wednesday (May 16) at a site and time to be determined.
The game played into the Big Red's hands thanks to a brilliant first half performance by the Denison defense. Led by junior goalie Nick Petracca, who turned in seven of his 13 saves in the first half, Denison held the Hornets to just one goal over the first 30 minutes of play. Even more impressive was the fact that first goal came just nine seconds into the game, after winning the opening face-off.
Lynchburg would not score again until the 9:07 mark of the third quarter. During that drought Denison took a 6-1 lead behind two goals from Davis Lukens and scores from Zach Walsh, Eddie Vita, Alex Hardt and Chapin Speidel.
Denison's offense was sharp and efficient and made the most of its opportunities in extra-man situations. DU was 3-for-6 while a man-up and early in the fourth quarter, Hardt would fire home a short-handed goal to make the game 10-3 with 8:34 to play, all but sealing the Hornets' fate.
Sophomore face-off specialist Chip Phillips came up big for DU as he won 14 of the game's 20 face-off's and provided five ground balls. Spencer Riehl led Denison with seven ground balls while Tommy Harrison posted three caused turnovers to go along with his four ground balls.
Denison was actually outshot 30-22 but gathered 40 ground balls to Lynchburg's 26, extending the Big Red's time of possession.
Cory Couture racked up five assists, giving him 93 for his career. Hardt and Vita posted hat-tricks and Vita also contributed two assists. Speidel ended with one goal and two helpers and Lukens scored twice in the first half.