Lionel Mussoni scored from well beyond the 18-yard box in the first half and Ameer Yusuf added another goal early in the second half to help lead Earlham College to a 2-0 victory over the Denison Big Red from Barclay-Thomsen Field on Tuesday night.
The Quakers, who were meeting the Big Red as a non-conference opponent for the first time since leaving the North Coast Athletic Conference for the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, didn't outshoot the Big Red but they made the most of their opportunities and played strong defense despite playing the final 31:51 shorthanded.
In the 59th minute Earlham's offensive stalwart Bannet Asingura was issued his second yellow card of the contest after excessive celebration following the goal from Yusuf. With Asingura out of the game, Denison would go on to attempt seven shots over those final 32 minutes of play. With just over 26 minutes to play the Big Red thought they had broken through when Lenny Mills (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair) sent a shot past Earlham goalkeeper Jonah Kreniske. As they had been six times previously on the night, the nearside linesman flagged Denison for being offsides, negating the goal.
Denison's Ish Ghodebane led the team in shot attempts with five. Zach Gaines (Cincinnati, Ohio/Finneytown), Mills and John Krentz (Davidson, N.C./North Mecklenburg) accounted for DU's three shots on-goal. First-year goalkeeper John Huddleston (Ballwin, Mo./St. Louis University School) finished with six saves for Denison while Earlham's Kreniske posted three saves. In the back, defender Drew Lash (Ballwin, Mo./Whitfield School) turned in a strong effort, erasing a number of would-be Quaker scoring opportunities.
Denison edged the Quakers 19-13 in the shot category and attempted five corner kicks to Earlham's three. The loss drops the Big Red's record to 2-4 on the year. They will look to rebound on Saturday when they travel to Rose-Hulman for a 1 p.m. kickoff against the Engineers.