GRANVILLE, Ohio—Trailing by two goals with seven minutes to play, No. 25 Denison closed out the game on a 4-0 run to defeat Redlands, 11-9 in the 2018 home opener at Piper Stadium.
In a game that saw a 25-degree weather drop from the opening draw to halftime, high winds and rain were a factor in abnormally high turnover numbers for both squads. Turnovers aside, the Big Red answered the bell when they needed it most.
Redlands took a 9-7 by scoring four out of the next five goals over a nine-minute span in the second half. Sadie Pickering's goal with 10:15 led in the game put the Bulldogs on top by two.
With 7:33 left, Denison's Leah Israel caused a turnover and Halle Walsh was there for the ground balls. Kiely Noonan went to the rack but her shot sailed high. DU retained possession and after a foul on Redlands, Noonan scored on the free-position with 6:38 left.
Up to this point, Redlands held a 12-6 advantage in draw controls. When Denison needed one most, Noonan was there to secure possession. Denison quickly got the ball into its offensive zone and Claudia Rafi's shot hit the crossbar and rebounded 20 yards in the opposite direction. Liza Farnham was in a position to scoop up the ground ball, allowing Denison to get back on offense. Israel tallied the game-tying goal seconds later, forcing a timeout by the Bulldogs.
After the timeout, Redlands won the draw but quickly turned the ball over after a check by Emily Sonneborn. DU cleared and Liza Farnham pumped in her second goal of the day, giving the Big Red a 10-9 lead with 4:38 remaining.
Denison stayed on the offensive. A draw control by Jane Goodspeed found Rafi who sent a shot high before being fouled. On the ensuing free position attempt, Rafi scored to give her team some breathing room at 11-9.
Noonan won the next draw control for Denison, allowing the Big Red to run another minute off the game clock. DU failed to score and the Bulldogs caught a break when Israel was issued a yellow card with 2:13 left, meaning Redlands would play with a one-player advantage for the next two minutes.
The Bulldogs went to work on offense as Lacey Bjorndal drove only to be turned away by Denison senior goalie Becca Jones. Over the next 90 seconds, the two teams played tennis with the lacrosse ball until the clock hit zero.
Noonan finished with four goals on eight shot attempts. She also posted three caused turnovers and three draw controls. Israel followed with three goals, three draw controls, and three caused turnovers.
Redlands turned the ball over 36 times, 19 of which were caused by the Big Red. Goodspeed paced DU with seven ground balls while Halle Walsh followed with five ground balls and three caused turnovers. Emily Marlatt also added three ground balls and two caused turnovers.
Redlands was led by Pickering's three goals while Lacey Bjorndal and Hanna Morford each posted two. Bulldog goalie Quinn Egan kept her squad in the game with 13 saves in 60 minutes.
Denison returns to action on Sunday, March 4 when they travel to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to take on the top-ranked Bullets. The opening draw is scheduled for 1 p.m.