Nov. 14, 2010

Courtesy of Denison Athletics

A pair of goals by senior forward Jen Clemmer (Hixson, Tenn./The Baylor School) lifted the 20th-ranked Denison women's soccer team to a 2-0 victory over eighth-ranked Illinois Wesleyan University on Sunday in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament at Barclay-Thomsen Field in Granville.

With the victory, Denison will now face No. 22 Wisconsin-Stevens Points in the third round of the 2010 NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship Tournament. The Pointers secured their berth in the Sweet 16 with a 1-0 victory over Concordia-Moorhead on Sunday. Game time, date and location have yet to be determined for next weekend's match.

As they did in their opening-round game, the Big Red wasted no time generating a quality scoring opportunity. Just over 10 minutes into the match, Saturday's hero Tory Danis (Dayton, Ohio/Oakwood) settled a header from Kimmi Oshita (Cincinnati, Ohio/Sycamore) in the upper left corner of the box. The junior chipped a shot past the charging Titan keeper, but IWU defender Rachel Pennington was their to clear the ball out of danger.

In the 29th minute, Danis found another open lane at the top of the 18-yard box. The Dayton, Ohio native's shot was batted away by keeper Alli Novak, but a hard-charging Clemmer was right on the door step to punch in the loose ball for the game's first tally. Clemmer's unassisted score gave the Big Red a one-goal lead, an advantage they would take into the intermission. Both squads attempted six shots in the opening 45 minutes, however five of DU's attempts were on goal compared to just one by Illinois Wesleyan.

The Titans came out attacking the Big Red defense in the second half. In the 51st minute, IWU's Alyssa Feulner took a one-touch pass into the teeth of the DU backline, but senior Haley Gewehr (Larchmont, N.Y./Mamaroneck) and junior Angie Coderre (Flossmoor, Ill./Homewood-Flossmoor) swarmed Feulner and forced a soft shot on goal. Roughly 17 minutes later, the Titan's Molly O'Brien received a one-touch pass from Emily Hinchman, but once again tight defense by Gewehr resulted in a weak shot on net.

With just under 21 minutes to play in regulation Denison attempted to tack on an insurance goal, but Novak intercepted the short cross from Danis to Oshita. In the 71st minute, Oshita executed a perfect give-and-go with senior Maggie Hoskin (Chicago, Ill./Homewood-Flossmoor) down the right sideline. Hoskin took the pass from Oshita and sent a cross to the far post that was headed against the grain by Clemmer and into the lower corner of the goal. Clemmer's 14th goal of the season put the Big Red up 2-0 with 19:48 remaining in the second period.

Desperately needing a goal to get back in the match, the Titans picked up the pace offensively. One of their best scoring opportunities of the half came on a free kick from 19 yards out. Midfielder Annmarie Dolak sent a bending kick on goal, but Denison rookie keeper Andrea Karl (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) was right there to make the save.

DU appeared to close the door on Illinois Wesleyan at 73:14, but for the second-straight match an offside call negated a Big Red goal. With under 10 minutes left, Clemmer had a chance for the hat trick, but her header in the middle of the box was stopped by Novak. Over the final 20 minutes of action Illinois Wesleyan attempted four shots, with just two finding their way on goal.

The Titans finished the day with a 16-10 advantage in shots, and a 6-2 edge in corner kicks. Karl made six saves en route to her 10th shutout of the season, while Novak posted five stops for IWU.

Denison improves to 16-5-2, while Illinois Wesleyan closes out the year with a 17-2-3 record. The win marked the Big Red's 12th NCAA Tournament victory. DU will be making their fourth overall appearance in the NCAA's Round of 16 (1992, 2005, 2006), and third under head coach Gail Murphy.