Denison wins 17th NCAC All-Sports Championship

Denison captured its 17th NCAC All-Sports Championship in 2018-19.
Denison captured its 17th NCAC All-Sports Championship in 2018-19.

GRANVILLE, Ohio--  Denison University claimed its conference-record 17th Dennis M. Collins All-Sports Championship after another stellar spring season that featured championships in men's and women's lacrosse and second-place finishes from baseball and men's and women's tennis. Denison totaled 165.5 points while the College of Wooster finished second with 162.5 points followed by DePauw University in third place with 155.5 points.

It was another banner year for Denison athletics as six programs captured conference championships in addition to four NCAC Tournament titles which do not factor into the All-Sports scoring.

In the fall, Denison football won its first NCAC championship since 1986 and advanced to the NCAA Playoffs for the first time since 1985 after finishing the regular season with an 8-2 record.  Senior quarterback Canaan Gebele was named the NCAC Offensive Player of the Year and was a semifinalist for the Gagliardi Trophy which is presented to the top player in Division III football.

Field Hockey finished the year with an 18-3 record after posting a perfect 14-0 mark in conference play and winning their record 11th conference crown.  The Big Red also captured its second-straight NCAC Tournament championship. Head Coach PJ Soteriades was named the NCAC Coach of the Year for the fifth time in her career. Michelle Kabaira was named the NCAC Defensive Player of the Year and Lucy Pearsall was named the NCAC Midfielder of the Year.

Women's Soccer won the NCAC championship with a record of 12-3-2 and were undefeated in conference play at 6-0-2. Head Coach Gail Murphy was named the NCAC Coach of the Year for the fourth time. Murphy has guided Denison to seven conference titles, three conference tournament titles and an overall record of 291-112-40. Senior Maggie Armstrong was named the NCAC's Midfielder of the Year.

In the winter, men's swimming & diving won its 11th straight conference title, outscoring Kenyon by 21.5 points. The Big Red went on to win its fifth NCAA Division III National Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina in March.

Denison trailed by one half point in the All-Sports standings entering the spring but 77 points propelled the Big Red to its 17th All-Sports Championship.

Women's Lacrosse won its 21st conference championship by racing through the league schedule undefeated for the third-straight year.  The Big Red will take a 37-game regular season conference winning streak into the 2020 campaign. Denison's last NCAC loss occurred in 2015.  In the postseason awards, Jane Goodspeed was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year for the second time and Casey McTague was tabbed Newcomer of the Year.  DU also won its sixth-straight conference tournament championship.  They will play in the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 on Saturday.

Denison men's lacrosse continued its stranglehold over the NCAC by racing through conference play with an 8-0 record en route to its 18th league championship and fourth-straight tournament crown.  The Big Red finished the season with an 18-3 record and a No. 9 ranking in the USILA Division III Top-20 before bowing out of the NCAA Division III Tournament in the Elite Eight.  Twelve individuals were honored on the all-conference team led by Defensive Player of the Year, Chris Broderick, Specialist of the Year, Henry DeCamp and Coach of the Year, Mike Caravana.

Denison's six conference championships run its all-time total to 148, ranking them second behind only Ohio Wesleyan who has captured 155 NCAC titles since the conference's inception in 1984.

In addition to DU's six champions, five programs (baseball, women's tennis, men's tennis, women's swimming & diving, and women's basketball) posted runner-up finishes while women's golf, softball and men's soccer logged third-place showings.  Denison baseball won its first-ever NCAC Tournament championship and advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the second straight year. The Big Red enter the NCAA postseason with a program-best record of 38-7.  Junior Will Krushena was named the NCAC Player of the Year and Will McManaman took home Newcomer of the Year accolades

Of Denison's 23 varsity sports, more than half placed in the top three in the conference.