Denison wins third-straight NCAC Tournament title

Denison wins the 2019 NCAC Tournament Championship  |  Photo by Bryce Stricker
Denison wins the 2019 NCAC Tournament Championship | Photo by Bryce Stricker

GRANVILLE, Ohio – A pair of first-half goals from Charlotte Happel helped Denison field hockey capture the 2019 North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament Championship on Saturday afternoon in Granville. The Big Red defeated Kenyon College, 2-1 to claim the program's third-straight tournament title. At 16-3, Denison receives the NCAC's automatic bid to next week's NCAA Division III Tournament.

Denison took an early 1-0 lead just six minutes into the contest when sophomore AC Veith inserted the corner to Happel who cashed it in from the right side of the shooting circle. That was Happel's fifth goal of the season and her first of the tournament.

Eleven minutes later, Happel answered again for DU when junior Charlotte Godfrey sent a pass from atop the circle and the senior laced it in the back of the cage for her second of the match and to give the Big Red a 2-0 lead. The goal also gave Happel her second multi-goal effort of the season after turning in two goals against Wooster on Oct. 12.

In the second half, Veith and Madeleine Hunt sent a pair of shots on target for DU in the final minute of the third, but Kenyon's Payton Doan tallied back-to-back saves to keep the Ladies deficit at 2-0 entering the fourth.

In the final frame, the Ladies outshot Denison 2-0 and even broke their scoreless outing in the 52nd minute when Sarah Metzmaier accepted a penalty corner from Emma Hyer and scored on the left side of the cage to cut DU's lead in half, 2-1.

With less than five minutes to play, Metzmaier attempted Kenyon's final shot of the night, but the shot went wide left and the Big Red held off the Ladies to secure their ninth-straight victory and their third NCAC tournament title since 2017. The loss dropped Kenyon to 15-4 on the season.

Happel led the way with three total shots, including two successful shots on target. Hunt, Veith, Godfrey also added shots on goal for Denison.

Metzmaier, Tara Shetty, and Carolyn Herbosa led Kenyon with two shots each while Hannah Sklar and Lydia Turk each posted one shot on goal. Doan finished with three saves for Kenyon in 60 minutes of action while DU's Teya Adams collected the win and three saves in a full match effort.

In the postgame awards ceremony, Denison's Happel, Hunt, and Adams were named to the All-Tournament team. Veith was selected as the Tournament's Most Valuable Player for the second-straight season.

The NCAA will announce the field for this year's tournament on Sunday (Nov. 10) at 11:30 p.m. on NCAA.com. Details will be posted on denisonbigred.com soon after. The NCAA tournament opens with games on Wednesday, Nov. 13.