Unprecedented Fall Success Leads DePauw to 30th Place in Directors' Cup Rankings

Unprecedented Fall Success Leads DePauw to 30th Place in Directors' Cup Rankings

January 22, 2013

Greencastle, Ind. - The 2012 fall season was one of the most successful in DePauw history as student-athletes from four different teams competed in NCAA Championships. Additionally, four teams participated in North Coast Athletic Conference championship games with NCAA Championship berths on the line and the Tigers' field hockey squad capped off a record-setting year with an NCAA national semifinal appearance.

With the help of the hard work and perseverance from the student-athletes and coaches, DePauw leads all NCAC teams in this year's Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings, ranking 30th in Division III after the NCAA’s fall season. With one conference title and three more top-three finishes, the Tigers also took the early lead in the NCAC All-Sports race after winning the 2011-12 title in their first year of NCAC competition.

Senior Noah Droddy capped off a tremendous collegiate cross country career by notching his second consecutive all-America honor after finishing eighth amongst the 280-runner field at the NCAA Division III Championships. Droddy was in 11th at the three-kilometer split and 14th at the 5K mark, but surged ahead in the final 3,000 meters to finish in 24:44.6.

Throughout the season, Droddy collected two NCAC Runner of the Week awards and two meet victories after placing first at the Gibson Family Pre-National Meet and the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh’s Brooks Invitational. Behind Droddy's second-place showing at the NCAC Championships, the Tigers placed fifth as a team.

While competing at the NCAA Regional, the Tigers squad mustered a 13th-place finish out of 37 competing squads, placing three runners in the top 100. Droddy paced DePauw with a fifth-place time of 24:58.29 which earned him a spot in the NCAA Championships. Following him across the finish line was Stu Newstat in 56th (26:25.40) and Brian Myers in 100th (26:57.43).

Behind Heather O'Brien's 16th-place showing in 22:11.37, DePauw finished 10th out of 33 participating schools at the NCAA Regional . O'Brien missed qualifying for the national meet by one place.

Rounding out the Tigers' top-100 finishers were Siri Retrum, as she turned in a 45th-place showing in 23:11.10, Emily Freiny in 79th in 24:01.88 and Megan Everhart in 84th in 24:07.27.

At the NCAC Championships, DePauw finished third as a team and two runners notched all-conference honors. The Tigers' lone first teamer was Hope Jordan after she finished seventh in a time of 23:25.0. O’Brien was a second-team honoree after finishing just behind Jordan in eighth at 23:30.0.

Since the arrival of head coach Gina Preston Wills, the DePauw field hockey team has been steadily improving, culminating in this year's 21-2 overall record including a 14-0 conference record and an NCAC Tournament championship en route to notching the program’s first NCAA Championship victory and an NCAA national semifinal appearance.

The 21 wins easily broke the previous school record of 17 victories and the Tigers allowed just 0.60 goals per game, tops in the nation.

After disposing of NCAC-rival Denison in the NCAC Championship game, the Tigers were seeded eighth in the 24-team NCAA Championship and earned a first-round bye. In their first NCAA Championship match since the 1999 season, the Tigers took a 1-0 lead over Utica (N.Y) on Grace Fisher's goal just after halftime.

Utica responded with two goals within 90 seconds of one another. Just seven minutes later Paige Henry got a stick on a Maggie Campbell strike and redirected into the cage for the equalizing goal. The scoreboard would read 2-2 as the second half ended. Just over six minutes had elapsed in overtime as senior first team all-America Margaret Ellis found the stick of third team all-America Chelsea Cutler, who buried the ball in the cage to send the Tigers to the national quarterfinals.

In the round-of-eight the Tigers faced top-seeded and unbeaten Middlebury College (Vt.) on its home field. DePauw fell behind, 1-0, just 25 minutes into the game and that score stood until the 58th minute of the match. Maggie Campbell collected a deflection off of the Middlebury defender's stick and rattled the cage to knot the score at 1-1. As the clock struck zero in the second half, the Tigers were headed to another overtime period. In the sixth minute of overtime Henry dribbled past the defender at the top and blasted a shot, finding room past the stretching Middlebury goalkeeper, thus sending the Tigers to the NCAA national semifinal for the first time in school history.

The dream ride ended at the hands of the eventual national champion Tufts, 2-0, in the national semifinal match, ending the Tigers' storybook season at 21-2.

Ellis, the two-time Great Lakes Region Player of the Year, was a second team all-America choice in 2011. She led the Tigers with 27 goals this season and was second with 10 assists for a team-high 64 points. Earlier this year she broke DePauw's 25-year-old career records for goals and points, held by Colleen Konicek and which now stand at 75 goals and 172 points.  Ellis also was the North Coast Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year each of the last two seasons and a three-time all-Great Lakes Region first team selection.

Cutler, this year's NCAC Defensive Player of the Year, is a three-time First Team All-Great Lakes Region choice. She led a DePauw defense this season that paced Division III in both shutouts (15) and goals against average (0.60). The Tigers' 15 shutouts was an NCAC record and equaled the DePauw mark set in 1999. Cutler also scored eight goals and assisted on six this season.

Joining Ellis and Cutler on the all-region first team were Bridgette Shamleffer as she finished second on the team with 16 goals and 36 points. The honor was her third overall after earning second team distinction in 2009 and 2011.

Rounding out the all-region honors were second-team citations for Grace Goodbarn, Taylor Helms and Henry. Goodbarn was also named a first-team all-NCAC performer.

Lastly, Preston Wills collected her first NCAC Coach of the Year and All-Great Lakes Coach of the Year awards after leading her squad to places no DePauw field hockey team had been before.

Taylor WagnerFOOTBALL
The 2012 football season was a culmination of many seniors' DePauw careers and the burgeoning of many up and coming young Tigers stars.

Freshman quarterback Justin Murray saw action in nine games, throwing for 1,168 yards and eight touchdowns in his first season under center for the Tigers. Playing in seven games as the Tigers' signal caller, Drew Seaman threw for 1,031 yards and four touchdowns.

On the receiving end of many of those passes was all-NCAC performer Nikko Sansone. The junior hauled in 44 catches, accounting for 439 yards, both team highs. Additionally, he also paced the Tigers as the only player accumulating over 100 all-purpose yards per game (101.1).

Leading the Tigers on defense were seniors Robby Schuler, Jack Quinn and Cody Crook. Schuler finished the season with 82 total tackles, two interceptions and a pair of forced fumbles, while Quinn was in on 81 stops and a team-high 10.0 tackles for loss. Crook added 72 tackles including 9.5 tackles for loss. Junior Patrick Keller paced the Tigers with 6.0 sacks for 38 yards in losses.

The lone Tigers player to receive first team all-NCAC honors was return specialist Taylor Wagner as he was a threat every time he touched the ball in open space.

In addition to Sansone and Wagner, two other Tigers were named to the all-NCAC squad; they were senior offensive lineman Christopher Lamping and junior co-captain Keller

After falling in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Championship, coach Brad Hauter and the returning seniors aimed for a repeat as NCAC Tournament champions in 2012 and a better showing in the NCAA postseason.

In a season that saw periods of splendid soccer and scoreless play, the Tigers peaked at the right time.

Throughout NCAC play, DePauw found itself having trouble finding the back of the net at times, registering five scoreless ties on the season, three in conference play.

After defeating defending NCAA defending champion and NCAC foe Ohio Wesleyan in the regular season in overtime, 3-2, DePauw once again met the Battling Bishops in the NCAC Tournament championship for the second straight year after defeating Hiram in the semifinals.

In an up-and-down match, the buzzer sounded at the end of regulation with the score still knotted at zero and the Tigers tallied their ninth overtime match of the season with a 4-0-4 record in those contests.

After two scoreless periods of overtime, the Tigers and the Battling Bishops headed to penalty kicks. Goalkeeper Tony Halterman stopped a Battling Bishops PK, giving senior co-captain Andrew Desmarais a chance to win the NCAC Tournament for the second straight year. Desmarais buried the shot in the back of the net to give the Tigers the victory, the NCAC Tournament title and a berth into the NCAA Championship.

The Tigers opened NCAA play against the 2011 national runners-up, Calvin College. DePauw played one of its best games of the year and Halterman made a few stellar saves, culminating in a 3-0 victory and the program’s first NCAA Championship victory since 2000.

The Tigers' season would end at the hands of ninth-ranked and host Dominican (Ill.), 2-1, on a strike into the upper-90 in the first overtime period of the second-round match.

Seven DePauw players were named to the all-NCAC squad. The duo of Desmarais and sophomore Andy Morrison were first-team honorees, junior George Elliott, senior Matt Schoenfeld and Halterman were named to the second team and sophomore Nate Snyder and senior Dean Weaver received honorable mention accolades. Morrison was a first-team all-region selection, while Desmarais was chosen to the second team and Halterman was a third-team choice.

After starting the season 0-7, the Tigers turned things around and eventually won the NCAC Tournament and a berth into the NCAA Championship.

The season came down to a 20-minute span in the regular season finale against Allegheny at Boswell Field. The Tigers needed a win to earn a berth into the conference tournament and trailed Allegheny, 1-0, before DePauw junior Angela Cotherman lined up a free kick from about 25 yards out and found the back of the net to equalize the match at 1-1.

Less than three minutes into overtime, the Tigers were faced with a similar situation and, again, Cotherman lined up for a free kick from about the same distance and struck the ball in the upper-90 of the goal frame to send the Tigers into the NCAC Tournament.

From there, the Tigers played inspired soccer, defeating top-seeded Wittenberg, 2-1, in the semifinal round and Denison, 1-0. in the championship match.

In the opening round of the NCAA Championship, the Tigers' unbelievable run came to an end at the hands of eventual national semifinalist Emory, 2-0.

Six Tigers were named to all-NCAC squads, led by Cotherman’s first-team citation. Chloe Jacob, Dana Sprague and Kat Wilson were second-team honorees while Emma Cooper and Emily White copped honorable mention accolades.

DePauw finished with a 25-6 record for the program's best winning percentage in 11 years. Additionally, the Tigers finished second in both the NCAC regular season and tournament.

After dropping their first two matches of the season, the Tigers reeled off 17 straight victories before losing to defending national champion Wittenberg in one of the toughest matches of the year. The Tigers won their next six to run their record to 23-1.

Entering the NCAC Tournament as the number-two seed, the Tigers easily defeated Allegheny in the first round, 3-0, and Hiram, 3-1, in the semifinals. The Tigers' season ended with a 3-0 loss to host Wittenberg in the title match.

Mary Kate Etling and Faith Rolwes were named to the NCAC first team while Keely McGrath and Katie Petrovich received honorable mention honors.