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Denison Wins 2009 NCAC Men's Soccer Tournament Championship

Denison claimed its second North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament championship upsetting top-ranked Ohio Wesleyan, 2-1 in double overtime in the championship game. The two squads battled to a 1-1 tie through regulation which lasted through the first overtime period. Denison's Peter Shorten settled a ball in the box and sent a blistering shot past the Ohio Wesleyan goalkeeper at the 102:39 mark to hand the Big Red their first conference tourney title since 2006. Denison opened the scoring when Preston Wagner hit a bomb from 35 yards out early in the second half. Ohio Wesleyan, trailing for only the third time in 2009, evened things up with a goal from Tyler Wall. The loss is the first for OWU this fall. As the tournament champion, Denison earns the Conference's automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Tournament. This will be the Big Red's ninth appearance in the event, and first since 2006. Ohio Wesleyan should also be considered for an at-large berth after spending the majority of the season atop the national rankings. Should the Battling Bishops advance, they will earn their NCAA Div. III record 32nd national berth. NCAA brackets willbe announced Monday.

Ohio Wesleyan advanced to the championship game after topping fourth-seeded Hiram, 2-1, in their semifinal matchup. Denison edged third-seeded Kenyon, 1-0, in their first-round contest.

Edited: Nov. 4, 2009
The top seeds have advanced in the North Coast Athletic Conference tournament. Top-seeded Ohio Wesleyan will host second-seeded Denison in the championship game on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. The winner receives the conference's automatic qualifier into the NCAA Division III tournament. The Battling Bishops head into their eighth tourney final after topping Hiram, 2-1, in the semifinal round. Neither team could capitalize in the first half. OWU opened the scoring when Jordan Halloran found the back of the net at the 52:34 mark. Ryan Harmanis widened the gap to 2-0 just over 11 minutes later. Hiram mounted a comeback, but the Bishops held on fo the win. For Hiram, Ryan Minick became only the third player this season to score on Ohio Wesleyan, and the second NCAC opponent to do so. The Bishops allowed only two goals during the regular season, one of which came in a 3-1 victory over Kenyon, setting an NCAA all-divisions record for fewest goals allowed in regular-season play.

Denison advances to its fourth tournament championship game and its first since 2006 - the year of its first tournament title. The Big Red also entered that tournament as the second seed. This year, Denison edged third-seeded Kenyon, 1-0, in the semfinals. Chris Olson received a feed from Lenny Mills and proceeded to chip it over the Kenyon keeper at the 79:07 mark. The Lords couldn't put away a goal, but it wasn't for a lack of trying. Kenyon outshot the host Big Red, 21-5. Denison netminder Kevin Donahue made 10 saves in the win, while Kenyon keeper Jared Kunze made one.

Edited: Nov. 1, 2009
Ohio Wesleyan enters the NCAC tournament, which begins Wednesday with semifinals, as the top seed and will host fourth-seeded Hiram (4-3-2, 10-6-2) at 7:00 p.m. During the regular season, Ohio Wesleyan topped the Terriers, 2-0. Second-seeded Denison (6-1-2, 10-4-3) will host third-seeded Kenyon (6-2-1, 13-4-1) in the other semifinal matchup on Wednesday. That contest also kicks off at 7:00 p.m. The two teams tied 0-0 in double overtime during the regular season. The championship game is set for Saturday, at the site of the highest remaining seed to emerge from the semis.

Tourney Notes: The tournament winner receives the NCAC’s automatic bid into the NCAA tournament ... Ohio Wesleyan is the defending tournament champion. The Bishops are the only team to have competed in every tournament since the inaugural event in 2000. Kenyon and Hiram are each making their second consecutive appearances in the NCAC post season. This will be the fourth trip overall for the Lords. Denison last made the tourney field in 2006, when the Big Red were the #2 seed. That year Denison claimed the tourney title after knocking off Allegheny in OT. This fall marks the Big Red’s seventh NCAC tournament appearance ... Ohio Wesleyan leads the way with seven tournament championships and in fact, has never lost an NCAC tournament championship game it has advanced to ... Should the Denison men and women both advance to the championship game of their respective tournaments as hosts, the men would play first, followed by the women (rotation set by even or odd years).