CLEVELAND, Ohio—Denison University is in the lead in the 2018-19 North Coast Athletic Conference All-Sports Championship race. Highlighted by three conference championships in field hockey, football, and women's soccer, the Big Red totaled 50.5 points and leads second-place Wooster by 4.5 points entering the winter athletics season.
Field Hockey raced through NCAC play with a perfect 14-0 record, winning the regular season and tournament championship. Denison took an 18-2 record into the NCAA Tournament where they suffered a 3-1 loss to Lynchburg. All-Americans Michelle Kabaira and Lucy Pearsall were named the NCAC's Defensive and Midfielders of the Year, respectively. PJ Soteriades received NCAC Coach of the Year honors for the fifth time.
Football captured a share of the program's first NCAC championship since 1986 by finishing the regular season with an 8-2 record. National Player of the Year candidate Canaan Gebele, was named the NCAC Offensive Player of the Year/ The Big Red qualified for the NCAA Division III playoffs for the second time in school history, drawing top-ranked Mount Union in the first round.
Women's Soccer won its 10th NCAC Championship and finished with a record of 12-3-2. Senior Maggie Armstrong was named the NCAC Midfielder of the Year and Gail Murphy was named the NCAC Coach of the Year for the fourth time.
Men's soccer qualified for the NCAC Tournament for the second-straight season in dramatic fashion, with a 2-1 victory over nationally ranked Ohio Wesleyan in the regular season finale. Senior defender David Jaben was named to the All-NCAC first team as DU finished in a tie for fourth place in the league standings.
Volleyball finished the season with 11 victories and qualified for the NCAC Tournament under second-year head coach Carter Cassell. First-year Payton McElfresh was named the NCAC Newcomer of the Year as volleyball earned five points toward Denison's cause.
Men's cross country placed sixth in the NCAC. Senior Niall Clancey finished eighth overall at the conference championship to earn All-NCAC accolades. Women's cross country placed seventh in the NCAC as Emily Wilson and Meagan Balch landed All-NCAC honors after placing 20th and 21st, respectively at the conference championship.
The All-Sports champion receives the Dennis M. Collins All-Sports Trophy, given annually to the school that performances the best across the NCAC's 23 sports. Denison has won this trophy a record 16 times and ranks second in the conference in terms of total conference championships at 145.