GRANVILLE, Ohio -- The Big Red kicked off the 2017 season with a 17-9 victory over Fredonia on Saturday afternoon at Piper Stadium.
Denison seniors Claire Ludlow and Reid Hirschey teamed up for the first goal of the campaign. Roughly two and a half minute into the game, Hirschey found Ludlow for the score to grab the early lead. Just 13 seconds later, junior Halle Walsh found freshman Kiely Noonan for her first collegiate goal to build up a 2-0 advantage.
The Blue Devils' Madeline Haney cut the deficit in half off an assist from Jade Williams, but five-straight goals by the Big Red put the home team in front by six at the midway point of the opening period. Noonan netted two goals during that stretch, one of which was off a pass from Hirschey. Sophomore Virginia Hamilton, junior Claudia Rafi and Ludlow also provided goals for DU to push the score to 7-1.
In front 7-2, freshman Lee Hayman scored on a free position shot before assisting on Noonan's fourth goal of the game at 8:27. Fredonia's Audrey Yokopovich closed the margin to six, but scores by Rafi, Ludlow and Colleen Muldoon gave the Big Red their largest lead of the game at 12-3. The Blue Devils' Jen Kershner netted a tally with 12 seconds left in the first half to make it a 12-4 score at the intermission.
Kershner's goal seemed to have provided a spark for Fredonia as they came out in the second half and scored the first three tallies of the period. The four-goal stretch shrunk the deficit to five at 12-7. DU answered with a pair of Leah Israel goals sandwiched around Noonan's fifth score of the contest. The three-goal burst put the Big Red back in front by eight with 6:43 to play. The Blue Devils pulled to within six with 1:35 on the clock, but goals by Hamilton and freshman Graham McIntosh inside the final minute set the final score.
Denison outshot Fredonia 33-17, including a 20-8 advantage in the opening half. The Big Red also had a 16-12 edge in draw controls and successfully cleared 17 of their 19 attempts.
Noonan led all scorers with five goals in her collegiate debut to go along with three ground balls. Ludlow added three goals and an assist, while Hirschey finished with three helpers. Walsh and Ludlow each collected three draw controls, while Israel led the team with four draws. Israel and sophomore Jane Goodspeed co-led the team with two caused turnovers, while Muldoon collected three ground balls. Sophomore goalie Hannah Magarian recorded one stop in 28 minutes of action en route to her seventh-career victory.
Haney notched a hat trick on four shots, while Yokopovich had five draw controls, five caused turnovers and four ground balls. Goalie Nicole Burrows made six saves in nearly 45 minutes between the pipes.
The Big Red improves to 1-0 on the season, while the Blue Devils fall to 0-1. Denison is back in action on Sunday (Feb. 26) when they host ninth-ranked Brockport at 1 p.m.