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Rush is Golden in OT win over Thomas More

Matt Rush  |  Photo by Jace Delgado
Matt Rush | Photo by Jace Delgado

GRANVILLE, Ohio--  Matt Rush provided the golden goal in the first minute of overtime to lead Denison to a 2-1 victory over Thomas More College on Wednesday night at Barclay-Thomsen Field. 

The win was Denison's first at home in 2018, it also put an end to a four-match winless streak that dated back to Sept. 7.

The Big Red made quick work of the Saints in overtime after Brandon Kozak sent a long pass that was received by Rush near the 18-yard box on the far side of the field. Rush had a step on his defender and he uncorked a shot that found the back of the net.  It was the first goal of the season for Rush and the second assist of the match for Kozak.

The two teams entered the second half deadlocked at 0-0 and 2:33 into the period it looked as if Denison took a 1-0 lead when Rush poked in a cross from Adamson.  The goal was quickly waived off by the referee as Rush was flagged for being offsides.  Thomas More took advantage of a stunned Big Red squad, quickly flipping the field and scoring 32 seconds later when Suli Kayed took the ball away from a Big Red defender in the box and scored.

Denison showed some resiliency after the Thomas More goal by coming right back at the Saints.  Two minutes later, Stu Windell scored his first career goal from the left post after taking a nice crossing pass from Kozak.

In the 64th minute, Thomas More's Ethan Smith had a good look but Denison goalkeeper Dylan Brown made a sliding save in a 1v1 situation.  Another strong chance for Thomas More was erased by center back David Jaben who had another outstanding night on defense for the Big Red.

With seven minutes left in regulation, Denison created a scoring opportunity after a beautiful throw-in by Eric Buer found the head of Kozak.  TMC goalkeeper Jeff Paulin was there to make the save on Kozak's attempt.

In the 88th minute, one of Denison's best scoring chances of the night was erased by Paulin as Adamson hit a well-struck ball that forced Paulin into full extension to make a one-handed save that forced overtime.

In overtime, Denison scored on the first shot attempt by either squad.  Both teams attempted 15 shots and Thomas More took eight corner kicks compared to five for the Big Red.

Denison returns to action on Saturday (Sept. 30) when they host No. 7 Kenyon at 12 p.m.