Denison has earned the No. 1 seed in the inaugural North Coast Athletic Conference men's lacrosse tournament after posting a 7-0 record in the NCAC regular season. As the top seed, the Big Red will host No. 4 seed, Kenyon College, on Tuesday (April 23) at 7:30 p.m. in Piper Stadium.
The Big Red secured the program's 14th NCAC Championship by defeating Ohio Wesleyan, 11-8, last Wednesday in Delaware. Junior face-off specialist, Chip Phillips, won 17-of-20 face-off's against the Battling Bishops. He also posted six ground balls. For his efforts in wins over OWU and Hiram, Phillips was named the NCAC's Player of the Week.
Denison boasts the nation's top-ranked defense which is holding its opponents to just 5.14 goals per game. The offense is ranked 20th out of 203 NCAA Division III lacrosse teams. They average just under 14 goals per outing. Denison's offense has been a balanced attack, with eight players all with double-figures in goals. Junior attack Eddie Vita is the team leader with 26 goals and 15 assists. Sophomore Teddy Powell has scored 21 goals to go along with a team-high 19 assists. Junior middie Chapin Speidel has tallied 24 goals and eight assists.
The face-off X will be a key to this semifinal match-up as both teams check into the game with two of the nation's best specialists in Phillips and Jared Jacobs of Kenyon. Phillips is 96-of-155 (.619) on the season while Jacobs boasts the 13th best face-off percentage in the country (.667). When these two teams met on April 10, Jacobs won 8-of-13.
The Lords defense is stingy as well. They are holding opponents to just 6.73 goals per game. Mackie Avis and Justin Coleman lead the team with 18 goals apiece. The team has compiled a record of 8-7 overall and 4-3 in the NCAC.
Between the pipes, Kenyon goalie Patrick Shevelson posted 14 saves in his last outing versus the Big Red. Denison rookie netminder, Chris Thomas is coming off a four-save performance against Ohio Wesleyan. He stopped eight shots last time against the Lords.
Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children (18 and under). All NCAC students are admitted free of charge with a valid ID. Additionally, the first 100 Denison faculty/staff members with a valid ID will also be admitted for free.