February 22, 2014

No. 15 Denison Rallies Past No. 13 Washington & Lee

from press release

LEXINGTON, Va. - Chris Thomas set a career-high with 15 saves and Eddie Vita scored three goals and added two assists as No. 15 Denison defeated No. 14 Washington and Lee, 11-9, in Lexington, Va.

In one of the better early-season battles you will see in Division III men's lacrosse, the Big Red outscored the Generals 3-1 in the fourth quarter to earn the victory. The game was tied 8-8 heading into the final 15 minutes of play and Vita got DU going with an unassisted goal after a shot by teammate Liam Rooney sailed wide. Vita's goal came at the 11:11 mark in the quarter.

The score would remain 9-8 in favor of Denison and with just under nine minutes to go, DU dodged a bullet as four consecutive shots by Washington and Lee all came up dry. After a Denison clear, the Big Red offensive went to work and was patient, running over two minutes off the clock. With 6:42 to play, a pair of first-year's teamed up as James Meager found Luke Walsh for the score, putting the Big Red up 10-8.

Washington and Lee would get themselves back into the contest when Cam Lewis scored an unassisted goal with 1:31 to play, making it a one-goal game once again. Following the Lewis goal, Denison's Chip Phillips would win the pivotal face-off and with 29 seconds left, Meager would score off a feed from Walsh to put DU back up by two. The Generals would win the face-off but a quick turnover would spell the home team's demise.

Denison led 4-2 after the first quarter and held a 7-5 lead at the half. They trailed once, at the 5:53 mark of the third quarter, when Joe Wood scored his first and only goal of the game. DU would tie the game three minutes later on an unassisted score by Chapin Speidel.

For the game, Vita paced the offense with three goals and two assists off just four shot attempts. Fellow attack, Teddy Powell, scored twice and also added two assists. Meager scored two goals and had one assist while All-American LSM Austin Campbell led the team with five ground balls and three caused turnovers.

W&L got three goals from Cameron Dabir and two scores from Cam Lewis. General goalie Warren Berenis finished with seven saves while facing 28 shots from the Big Red. Last year he turned in a 13-save performance while helping his team to an 8-7 win over Denison in Granville.

Washington and Lee outshot the Big Red 37-28 and held a 28-25 advantage in ground balls. Denison committed 25 turnovers to just 15 for the home team, but the Big Red was efficient on the offensive end, scoring on 11 of its 28 shot attempts. DU also held a 12-11 advantage at the face-off X as Phillips won 11 of 19 draws.

Things don't get any easier for the Big Red as they gear up for a key mid-week road game against No. 8 Roanoke at 2 p.m. on Wednesday. The Maroons are coming off a loss to No. 16 St. Mary's on Tuesday.

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