Nov. 13, 2010

Courtesy of Denison Athletics

The 20th-ranked Denison University women's soccer team experienced a bit of deja vu in Saturday's NCAA Tournament first round match against Penn Sate-Altoona. For the second time in as many games, junior forward Tory Danis (Dayton, Ohio/Oakwood) broke a scoreless tie in the early stages of the second half to lift the Big Red to a 1-0 victory at Barclay-Thomsen Field in Granville.

Danis' second game winner of the season came exactly one week after she helped Denison clinch their second North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament championship against Allegheny College (Nov. 6).

With the win, DU will take on eighth-ranked Illinois Wesleyan in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship Tournament. Sunday's match at Barclay-Thomsen Field is scheduled for 1 p.m. The Titans earned a spot in the second round with a 3-0 victory over Washington & Jefferson College.

The Big Red had a golden opportunity to score midway through the opening period when senior Jen Clemmer (Hixson, Tenn./The Baylor School) dribbled through two Lion defenders and ripped a left-footed shot towards the goal. However, the senior's shot was stopped short thanks to a diving one-handed save by PSU-Altoona goalkeeper Lindsay Raspanti. DU controlled the opening 45 minutes and outshot the visitors 12-2, with six of those shots coming off the foot of Clemmer.

Denison wasted little time generating scoring chances in the second period as Clemmer split two defenders and settled a through ball in the middle of the box just over a minute into the half. Unfortunately, Clemmer's attempt sailed just over the cross bar as the match remained scoreless. The Big Red finally broke the tie in the 51st minute when Danis headed a picture-perfect cross from Clemmer past Raspanti. The goal was the junior's fifth of the season, while Clemmer recorded her fifth assist of the year.

Despite the one-goal advantage, the DU attack continued to apply pressure. At 60:27, senior Maggie Hoskin (Chicago, Ill./Homewood-Flossmoor) rifled a shot from the left side that deflected off the cross bar. With just under three minutes left in regulation, the entire Big Red fanbase thought their team had tacked on an insurance goal, but an offside call by the far-side linesman nullified a Hoskin score. Denison outshot the Lions 9-3 following Danis' goal, with only one PSU-Altoona shot finding its way to DU rookie keeper Andrea Karl (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty).

Denison finished the day with a 23-6 advantage in shots, including a 5-1 edge in shots on goal. The Big Red also attempted six corner kicks, compared to just one by the Lions. Karl made one save en route to her ninth-career shutout, while Kaspanti stopped four shots for Penn State-Altoona.

The Big Red improve to 15-5-2 on the year, while the Lions finish the season with a 16-3-3 mark.