Ohio Wesleyan vs. Denison
April 13, 2002
The Game Story:
Freshman attacker John Schlegel (Chevy Chase, Md./Gonzaga) scored 2 goals and senior attacker Matt Coughlin (Denver, Colo./Regis Jesuit) had a goal and an assist during a 4-0 third-quarter run that started the Bishops on their way past previously unbeaten Denison in non-conference play on Saturday at Selby Field.

It marked the first time since 1990 that Ohio Wesleyan had scored 20 goals against Denison, covering a span of 26 games.

After a nip-and-tuck first quarter, the game featured a handful of potential turning points with each team bouncing back.

With Ohio Wesleyan holding a 3-2 lead late in the first quarter, Bishop defensive midfielder Brian Small (Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall) stepped in front of a clearing pass by Denison keeper Peter Royer (Avon, Conn./Westminster), stole the ball and beat Royer back to the goal for a score with :22 left. It was the first collegiate goal for Small.

Denison responded with a goal by midfielder Keith Bishop (Dublin/Coffman) right off the opening faceoff of the second quarter, but that didn't deflate Ohio Wesleyan as Coughlin scored 30 seconds later to give the Bishops a 5-3 lead. Denison answered with a goal by midfielder Kevin Sullivan (Timonium, Md./Boys Latin) less than a minute after that to once again make it a one-goal game.

Ohio Wesleyan again threatened to grab the momentum late in the second quarter. With time running out, Coughlin somehow picked up a ground ball near the Denison crease and sent an improbable pass toward the goal, where junior midfielder Andy Rowe (Alpharetta, Ga./Penfield, NY) caught the ball and dunked it into the net for a 9-6 Bishop lead at halftime.

But once again the Big Red bounced back. Attacker Ryan Berger (Devon, Pa./Conestoga) scored less than 2 minutes into the third quarter when his rocket hit the body of Bishop keeper Paul McCommons (Smyrna, Del./Dover), and when McCommons turned to try to locate the ball, it rolled out and into the net. McCommons was injured on the play and left the game, replaced by freshman Mike Comeau (Bedford, N.H./Bishop Guertin), who came in cold off the bench. Momentum seemed to be turning Denison's way when attacker Andy MacIlwaine (Charlottesville/St. Annes-Belfield) scored on shortly thereafter to cut the deficit to 9-8.

Ohio Wesleyan's defense held tight, however, and then the Bishop offense put together its 4-0 run to stretch the lead to 13-8 late in the third quarter.

Denison clawed back to within 14-11 with less than a minute remaining in the third period when Berger scored goals :08 apart, but it appeared Ohio Wesleyan had broken that run when Coughlin blistered a shot into the net at the horn ending the third quarter. However, the goal was waved off, giving the Big Red a boost entering the fourth period.

Ohio Wesleyan bounced back to score first in the fourth quarter, getting a goal by junior midfielder Frank Bedford (Villanova, Pa./Radnor) with 13:48 to play and another from Rowe just over a minute later to increase the lead to 16-11. The Bishops slammed the door with 3 straight goals midway through the quarter.

Coughlin led all players with 3 goals and 5 assists on the day, while Rowe scored a team-high 5 goals for the Battling Bishops. Schlegel and Bedford each added 3 goals and an assist.

Berger led Denison with 5 goals and an assist. Kevin Sullivan added 3 goals and 2 assists and Andy MacIlwaine had 2 goals and an assist.

McCommons made 6 saves and Comeau finished with 12 saves for Ohio Wesleyan, while Royer had 14 saves for Denison.