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O'Neill's late goal sends DU to a 2-1 win over Case

Kelly O'Neill  |  Photo by Jace Delgado
Kelly O'Neill | Photo by Jace Delgado

CLEVELAND, Ohio--  Kelly O'Neill scored the game-winning goal in the 88th minute to lead Denison to a 2-1 comeback victory over Case Western Reserve.

The two teams played the first 60 minutes to a scoreless tie but Case Western's Christina Hickson broke through when she followed a shot by teammate Taylor Bova that was saved by Denison keeper Patil Tcholakian.  Hickson booted the follow-up into the lower right corner of the goal, giving the Spartans a 1-0 advantage.

In the 74th minute, Denison senior Maggie Armstrong scored from 10-yards away, tying the match at 1-1.  It was the sixth goal of the season for Armstrong.  The eventual game-winner came with 2:43 left in regulation as O'Neill unleashed a 25-yard bomb that found the lower right corner of the goal.  It was the third goal of the season for O'Neill but Case Western Reserve wasn't finished yet.

Seconds after Denison took the lead, Case's Ana Petropoulos took a shot that went off the crossbar, marking the Spartans' final shot of the night.

CWRU held a 21-17 advantage in shots but the Big Red won the corner kick battle, 5-2.  Tcholakian finished with seven saves while playing all 90 minutes. She boasts a goals against average of 0.81 in 670 minutes this season.  Case Western Reserve goalkeeper Lauren Metz posted four saves in her 90 minutes of work. 

The Big Red came close to scoring in the 22nd minute when a corner kick by Abby King allowed Claire Kolff to get a shot-on-goal.  Metz was out of position but a CWRU defender was there to take the would-be goal off the board.

With the win, Denison improves to 6-2 while Case Western Reserve drops to 5-3.  Denison, who was ranked in the Division III Top-25 earlier this season was first in the "others receiving votes" column of the most recent United Soccer Coaches poll.  The Big Red is also ranked second in the Great Lakes Region.

Denison returns to action on Saturday (Sept. 29) when they host Kenyon in a Big Red Weekend showdown at 3 p.m. from Barclay-Thomsen Field.

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