Denison vs. Ohio Wesleyan
March 31, 2012
The Game Story:
The 10th ranked Big Red shook off an early 2-0 deficit, answering with an 8-0 run spanning 14 minutes of the first and second quarters, fueling a 12-5 win over Ohio Wesleyan.

The win marks the seventh-straight against the Bishops, moving Denison's advantage in the all-time series to 46-42-1.

The game's first fireworks were shot by the Battling Bishops, when Edwin Foster scored off an excellent pass from Pat Bassett with 11:59 to play in the first quarter. Ohio Wesleyan's quick-strike offense was on full-display on the ensuing face-off when Jesse Lawrence won the draw, scooped up the ground ball, and hit Tommy Minkler in transition. All of which happened within a span of six seconds, giving OWU a sudden 2-0 lead before a majority of the crowd could even reach their seats.

Denison's Chip Phillips would win the ensuing face-off, tempering OWU's new-found momentum, and two minutes later, Denison's Zach Walsh put the Big Red on the scoreboard with his 13th goal of the season.

The goal by Walsh would begin a string of eight unanswered goals that would stir the large Denison crowd into a tizzy. With 10:06 to play in the first quarter, Alex Hardt tied the game at 2-2 and after another face-off win by Phillips, Davis Lukens fired in an unassisted goal, putting DU in the lead for the first time.

Sophomore Eddie Vita, who has been getting better and better with each passing game, would score the next two goals for the Big Red and with just 17 seconds left in the opening quarter, first-year Will Koontz found Lukens for his second goal, giving DU a 6-2 lead after one quarter.

DU would begin the second quarter with an extra-man situation after a slash by OWU's Steve Barnett. In the first man-up situation of the contest, DU converted when Cory Couture fed Koontz for his fourth goal of the season.

Clearing was a problem for the Bishops all afternoon and after another failed attempt, the Big Red capitalized once again. This time it was Walsh who scored his second unassisted goal of the game with 12:05 to play in the second quarter. That put the finishing touches on Denison's 8-0 run and set the stage for 11 minutes of scoreless lacrosse fueled by some stellar play by DU goalie Nick Petracca. Over that span, Petracca logged seven saves and kept the Battling Bishops off the scoreboard until the 1:13 mark of the second quarter. That's when A.J. Pellis scored OWU's first man-up goal of the contest off an assist by Short.

DU would go into the half with an 8-3 lead thanks to eight first half saves by Petracca and two goals apiece from Walsh, Vita and Lukens.

Denison opened the second half and dominated possession once again, to the tune of 10-straight shot attempts. The Bishops first shot of the quarter came at 9:20, and after a save by Petracca, the Big Red would turn that into a goal at the other end when Couture found Vita for his third score of the contest.

A penalty on Denison's Austin Campbell would give OWU an extra-man opportunity and Pellis converted off a pass from Short with 1:56 to play in the third.

With 11:24 to play in the fourth, Denison would push its lead out to six goals when Chapin Speidel scored off an assist by Vita. Bassett would answer with a goal at the 10:02 mark for OWU, but the final two scores would come from the Big Red as Koontz and Vita poured in Denison's second and third man-up goals of the game, setting the final at 12-5.

Denison outshot Ohio Wesleyan, 47-30 and controlled the hustle stats with 34 ground balls to OWU's 22. Phillips was 12-of-20 at the face-off X while Nick Farrell and Spencer Riehl paced DU with four ground balls each. Campbell and Tommy Harrison led the way with two caused turnovers and Petracca ended with a season-high 11 saves.

Ohio Wesleyan was led by Pellis' two goals. Lawrence, the team's face-off specialist, was 8-for-20 with a team-high six ground balls. First-year goalie Ryan McMahon posted 17 saves in cage for the Bishops while adding five ground balls.

There were 12 penalties in the game with six flagged on each team. Denison converted 50 percent of its extra-man attempts while OWU scored at a 40 percent clip. With the win, DU improves to 8-0 overall and 2-0 in the North Coast Athletic Conference while OWU falls to 7-2 and 1-1 in conference play.

This marks the first 8-0 start by a Denison men's lacrosse team since 1967. That team ended the season 12-0