A passion for the sport

Celebrating the past

Honoring the history

Connecting to the present

Continuing traditions

Building the future

Latest News

 
 2014 FAN GEAR SALE!  
 
November 10, 2013
 
This year's gear sale is now closed.  We thank all that have placed orders (see who participated by clicking the CONTRIBUTORS button at left).  
 
 
 BIG RED SHINES IN LAKE PLACID  
 
September 1, 2013
 
2013 marked the 15th consecutive year that Denison has competed in Lake Placid's Summit Lacrosse Classic. It started with a Grand Masters division team (45 years and older) in 1999; 26 Denison alumni led by legendary Coach Tommy Thomsen.  Then, in 2008, came a Super Grand Masters team (52 years and older) and an Open division team.  During this time, nearly 100 Denison alumni and varsity players have suited up in the colors of the Big Red for this tournament, representing classes from 1972 and later.
 
The 2013 edition of the Denison Open team, featuring a most-ever 15 alumni and varsity players, including 42-year old Eric Carlson '93, arrived with high expectations.  Particularly when compared to earlier iterations, it didn't disappoint, finishing the tournament with a best-ever 2-2 record, a 2nd place finish in its Group and a 6th place overall.  The Big Red started strong, with a 12-3 victory over Albany Alliance but fell short in the always-important 2nd game to eventual tournament runner up Stixx-N-Stones, 8-11.  The loss meant Denison could finish no higher than 5th but the Big Red won its next game over Stu Funk N' Real in a 10-9 squeeker then lost its final game 6-11 to FCA.  Interestingly, no Denison team has ever one its final game in the tournament.
 
Taylor Nissi '08 organized the team and kept a log of the weekend's happenings.  CLICK HERE to get the details.

 
 WHERE ARE THEY NOW?  BRAD TOUMA '83   
 
September 1, 3013
 
Brad Touma '83, a key player as the face-off man on the Big Red's #5 ranked 1982 team, recently won his 400th game as a head coach at Charlotte Country Day School (CCDS) in Charlotte, NC.  His list of accomplishments is simply staggering:
  • 403 victories
  • 9 state championships in 20 appearances
  • 17 conference titles
  • 16 All Americans
  • 6 Academic All Americans
  • 141 All State selections
  • 102 All Conference selections
  • 21 NCAA players, including 4 team captains
  • 14 USLacrosse National Senior Game participants
  • 6 Charlotte Booster Players of the Year
The Insider recently spoke to Brad about is astounding success and his career at Denison.  CLICK HERE to read our interview.
 
 
 ALL NCAC TEAMS ANNOUNCED 
 
May 11, 2013
 
The Big Red placed a total of 9 players on this year's all conference team, including 4 on the First Team, led by long stick midfielder Austin Campbell, who was selected Defensive Player of the Year.  Campbell was recently elected captain for the 2014 season by his teammates.  Read the official press release.
 
Denison has placed at least 9 players on All NCAC teams every year since 2005 and at least 4 on the First Team in each of the last 3 seasons.  During that time, the Big Red had 7 players on the First Team twice, 2008 and 2012 and 13 players overall in 2008 and 2009.
 
 
 PARENT/SON, PART 3 
 
May 9, 2013
     
Chris "Topher" '08 and Steve '73 Nazaruk are 1 of only 2 father-son combinations (Tom and Spencer Riehl, whom we've previously interviewed) are the other. They share several common traits:  Steve earned All Midwest and All America honors, Topher earned All NCAC honors; both both played the lefty attack position and both wore #11.
 
The Insider recently interviewed them both for our third and final parent/son feature.

 
 BIG RED MISSES THE DANCE 
 
May 7, 2013
 
It's been a long time since Denison didn't receive a bid to the NCAA tournament - 8 years, in fact.  Since 2005, the Big Red has been the crown jewel of Midwest lacrosse, compiling a glittering 94-30 record, beating archrival Ohio Wesleyan 10 of 12 times, and earning 5 NCAC championships.  However, its crown was josteled last week when it lost to OWU in the NCAC title game and lost the automatic qualifier (AQ) to the NCAAs that comes with it. 
 
There's more to this story.  The Insider gives some insights.
 
 
 DENISON FALLS TO OWU IN NCAC FINAL 
 
April 28, 2013
 
In a fierce battle in which OWU led for most of the game, the Big Red lost the to the Battling Bishops last night, 10-9 in the first-ever NCAC championship game (see official press release).  This was OWU's first victory over Denison since 2007.  The win gives OWU an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament while Denison's loss puts its participation into in jeopardy. 

On the stat sheet, the Big Red significantly outplayed the Bishops but it was the stellar play of OWU's goalie, Ryan McMahon, and OWU's unexpected zone defense that earned the Bishops the win.  Denison picked up more ground balls, the defense held OWU's offense to a manageable score, and the offense outshot OWU's nearly 2 to 1.  Chip Phillips, pictured at right, renewed his domination at face-offs, winning 18 of 22, after going 17 for 20 in the first matchup 11 days ago.

If there was a single reason for the Big Red loss, it was its decision-making in shooting.  Without a doubt, McMahon was brilliant, particularly high, and the Bishops' zone did a good job of forcing the Big Red to shoot from outside.  Still, throughout the game, Denison refused to change shooting planes from all distances, put the ball low and, considering McMahon's prowess, often took shots from outside of good shooting range.  This problem has plagued the young Big Red offense throughout the season.  It's averaged 44 shots/game (the opposition has averaged just 19) and opposing goalies have averaged 14 saves/game.  Denison has averaged 13 goals/game.  This issue will resolve itself next year when the offense further matures but, for now, will be a concern if Denison gets an invitation to the NCAA tournament.

The Big Red now have the very difficult task of waiting until next Sunday to see if they get an invitation to the big dance as part of Pool C.  Teams in this group are those who are members of all conferences with automatic qualifiers but who did not win the conference tournament.  The NCAA divides Division III into North and South regions.  Prior to last night's game, the NCAA rated the Big Red #13 in the South.  Only 5 teams will be chosen from all teams in Pool C to play in the tournament.  This year's brackets will be announced during the evening of Sunday, May 5.
 
  
 60th ANNIVERSARY TEAM ANNOUNCED 
 
April 26, 2013
 
Denison's 60-year tradition of excellence was earned by the contributions of more than 700 players, 7 head coaches, and a number of assistant coaches and athletic trainers who, year after year, combined make the Big Red one of the best lacrosse programs in the country (a 70% winning percentage).
 
We celebrate its 60th Anniversary with the announcement of the greatest players in Big Red history, as voted by the members of the Denison Lacrosse Alumni from their selections of Denison's All Decade Teams.

FIRST TEAM
 
Attack:  Andy John '84, Victor Maddux '97, Sean O'Brien '91
 
Midfield:  Steve Hettrich '98, Kevin Sullivan '03, Ethan Ewing '94, Frank Penninmpede '99, Mike Riehl '82, Dan Maude '09, Alex Nephew '97

Defense:  Dave Beaver '99, Brian Nicholas '99, Dave Breschi '86, Kurt Federer '05, Steve Garnett '97

Goalie:  Peter Royer '02, Alex Baruch '08
 
 
SECOND TEAM
 
Attack:  Paul Doty '68, Ryan Berger '02, Ted Haynie '72, Matt Connell '96
 
Midfield:  Cliff Comfort '96, Dave Zillig '78, Lou Arp '77, Jay Dugan '86, Rod Korba '72, Dick Rieg '68

Defense:  Al Burnett '66, Joel Sewell '76, Tim Ross '78, Gerry Stacey '69

Goalie:  Bob Martin '69, Dave Wright '73
 
 
THIRD TEAM
 
Attack:  Steve Nazaruk '73, John Beatson '67, Dave Baxter '81, Tom "Bomber" Bryan '90
 
Midfield:  Jon Staunton '02, TJ Minogue '99, Tom Riehl '85, Kent Galey '67, Brandon Gaines '76, Bill Free '68, Bill Mason '57

Defense:  Sean Weston '87, Jack Cornell '71, Bill Lewis '68

Goalie:  Bill Hall '86, Mark Jacobsen '95
 
 
HONORABLE MENTION
 
Attack:  Henry Galleher '85, Chuck O'Connell '65, Mark Deering '76, Allen Petersen '77, Nate Hall '09
 
Midfield:  Dan Hans '75, Bob Keenan '68, Don McConnell '68, Bruce McClintock '64, Gary Becker '85

Defense:  Tim Butler '82, Taylor Nissi '08

Goalie:  Justin Smith '98, John Mutscheller '82, Bill Stephens '63, Rob Hereford '78
 
Selection criteria called for 3 attackmen, 6 midfielders, 3 defensemen and 2 goalies per team.  Additional players were listed in each position due to ties in voting. See selection criteria for more details.
 
 
 BIG RED FACES OWU IN NCAC FINAL 
 
April 24, 2013
 
Denison defeated Kenyon last night, 8-2, to move on to Saturday's NCAC final against Ohio Wesleyan, who beat Wooster 13-9.  The game will be in Granville at 7:30pm and available for viewing online.
 
For the second time in two games this season, Denison dominated possessions, face-offs, ground balls and shots but the Lord's defense held the Big Red offense in check.  The Lords' goalie came up big with 18 saves after notching 14 in the first match up on 4/10.  Read the official press release
 
The Big Red now face rival Ohio Wesleyan to win not only the NCAC
crown but receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.  Denison has beaten the Bishops 8 consecutive times and is 11-3 against OWU in the last decade.  The challenge for the Big Red will be the same as in their first game this season:  contain OWU's attack duo of Colin Short and Matt Helms, keep the penalties at a minimum, put their shots on the cage, and control face-offs.   Denison did all 3 when the teams met on 4/17.  Offensively, look for Eddie Vita to shine as he has this season in big games.
 
Pictured:  Top - senior attackman Eddie Vita, Denison's leading scorer; Bottom - face-off specialist Chip Phillips will be a key against OWU
 
 
 COUNTDOWN TO GREATNESS 
 
April 22, 2013
 
The Big Red completed the regular NCAC season undefeated, following its 8th consecutive win over Ohio Wesleyan (11-8) and Hiram (27-0) this week. After the wins, Denison rose to #13 in the national coaches poll.
 
Against the Bishops, Denison's Chapin Speidel led all scorers with 3 goals; the Big Red's defense shut down the Bishop's leading goal scorer, who had only 1 assist to his credit.  The biggest factor, though, was possessions:  chief face-off specialist Chip Phillips came up big, winning 17 of 20 draws; and Denison crushed OWU in ground balls, 26-13.  This resulted in getting twice as many shots (40 vs 21).  The Big Red was much more accurate than of late in its shooting, too (22 were on goal).  Read the official press release.
 
The win against Hiram was certainly expected. This is the Terriers first varsity season and has only 18 players on its roster; they simply couldn't match the firepower of the nation's #14 team.  Coach Caravana peppered the field with starters and backups throughout the first half, as the Big Red led 19-0 at the break.  Read the official press release.
 
The countdown to the NCAA championship now begins on Wednesday in the NCAC tournament, when Denison faces off against Kenyon in Granville at 7:30pm.  The winner will play for the NCAC title on Saturday against the winner of OWU/Wooster to played in Delaware at 7pm.  The NCAC champion gets an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.  Denison is expected to have a rematch with Ohio Wesleyan in Saturday's championship game.
 
 
 MORE ABOUT DENISON LACROSSE'S HISTORY  
 
April 22, 2013
 
The Big Red's 60th Anniversary celebration continues with two new stories.  The first, published in the current issue of Denison Magazine, focuses on the beginnings of Denison lacrosse in the early 50's.  The second, published last week on denisonlacrosse.com. is part 2 of a 2-part story of Denison's history between 1952 and today.
 
 
 SHOWDOWN THIS WEDNESDAY 

April 14, 2013
 
The Big Red faces off this Wednesday at arch rival Ohio Wesleyan in a game that will likely determine the #1 seed in the NCAC tournament, which starts a week later.  Both teams enter the game with 5-0 conference records and rank similarly in Division III statistics.  Both have strong defenses (approx. 5.5 goals against/game), have similar scoring margins (about 8 goals/game) and goalies who have over a 50% save percentage.  A strong difference, though, is in face-offs, where the Bishops win nearly 2/3 of draws vs. 1/2 for the Big Red.  Both teams feature balanced offenses and neither team has a dominating scorer.  OWU's offense features 2 big midfielders who are its #3 and #4 scorers.

There are 2 keys for Denison's success:  how well junior midfielder Chapin Speidel shoots and how well the defense can control the Bishops' attack duo of Colin Short (#2) and Casey Helms (#22).  The Big Red struggles offensively when Speidel isn't scoring and he's been in a shooting slump for several games.  He seemed to come out of it in last night's 12-4 win over Wittenberg with 3 goals, but took 11 shots to do it.   Short (13/29) and Helms (27/12) complement each other nicely but it would appear that maintaining pressure Short is more important.

The game can be seen online at denisonbigred.com/sports/mlax/2012-13/schedule beginning at 7pm.
 
 
 PARENTS AND SONS, PART 2  
 
April 14, 2013
 
The Gulyas family has a heralded history at Denison:  Teddy Gulyas '09 (right) was recently voted to Denison's 2000-09 All Decade Team and his parents, Jean '77 (right) and Ted '73 are the only husband and wife in the Denison Athletic Hall of Fame.  Teddy and Jean have the further distinction of being the only mother/son lacrosse combination in Denison's history.  We recently spoke to all three to get their perspectives on this unique legacy.  Read the interview.
 
 
 DENISON BEATS WOOSTER 
 
March 24, 2013

Thanks to a strong first half, during which Denison took a 5-1 lead in the second quarter, the Big Red bested the Scots at home 10-7.  The win earned Denison a 6-1 record going into its game against NCAC newcomer DePauw next Saturday.

The game was highlighted by three things.  Wooster goalie Matt Magoon had a tremendous day in the cage (20 saves), 8 in the first quarter alone.  However, Denison shot poorly (26 shots in the first half while scoring only 6 goals.  In addition, Denison's man up unit, which averages only 30%, continued in this vein, scoring only 3 of 9 times.  The win keeps the Big Red atop the NCAC but, with Wooster being ranked #103 in laxpower.com's computer rankings, dropped Denison to #17 from #12 in those rankings.  The narrow victory allow caused Denison to drop from #11 to #12 in the coaches poll.  See rankings.

Read the official press release.
 
 
 BIG RED RISES IN COACHES POLL 
 
March 18, 2013
 
Denison moved up to #11 in the USILA Coaches Poll this week, after its win over Centre College (KY).  It remains #12 in Laxpower.com's computer rankings.  See our rankings.
 
 
 SEASON REPORT  
 
March 17, 2013
 
The Big Red ended its spring trip with a record of 3-0, the latest victory being a 17-4 thrashing of Centre College (KY) yesterday.  Denison now begins its NCAC season next Saturday, 3/23 at home against Wooster.  Read the game report.

So, It's mid-March and the Big Red's season is already 1/3 completed.  After 6 games, Denison is 5-1 and ranked #12 nationally in the USILA coaches poll.  Its loss to #9 W&L is the only blemish on its record but its OT win over Haverford was indicative of the growing pains a young team must endure before becoming truly successful.  The Insider takes a look at how the team has done compared to Head Coach Mike Caravana's pre-season assessment.
 
Read our assessment of the Big Red's performance so far.
 
 
,PARENTS AND  SONS, PART 1 

March 15, 2013

There are only 3 parent/son combinations in the history of Denison Lacrosse.  In the first of a 3-part series, we focus on what is arguably the first family of Big Red Lacrosse:  the Riehls.  A total of 4 members have been on the team across 2 generations (and even more have been Denison students).  We interviewed father on Tom ('85) and son Spencer ('13) for this series but Tom's brother, Mike ('82) was an All America midfielder and sister-in-law, Ginny ('80), was a statistician for the team.
 
Read our interview.
 
 
 MEET THE TEAM - SPENCER RIEHL '13 
 
February 16, 2013
 
Spencer Riehl '13, a four-year letter winner and defenseman for the Big Red and son of DLA member Tom Riehl '85 (father and son pictured together, 2nd photo at right), will graduate this spring.  Spencer is a team captain this season.  Last season, he was selected to the 2nd Team All NCAC team and was #3 on the team last season in ground balls.

He played high school lacrosse at St. Paul's school, as did his father and uncle, Denison Hall of Famer, Michael Riehl '82.
 
Read our interview with Spencer.
 
 
 

 MEET THE TEAM - NATE ARDENTE '13 
 
February 15, 2013
 
Nate Ardente, a 3-year letterman for the Big Red, is from Providence, RI.  Equally adept with a long pole or short stick, he's played at both midfield and close defense. 
 
After graduation, Nate wants to get into the business of built environment, specifically related to real estate development.  Read our interview.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 BIG RED PRE-SEASON PICK TO WIN THE NCAC 
 
February 15, 2013
 
Based on a survey of the conference's coaches, Denison is the favorite to win the NCAC this season.  With a highly respected defense and a small core of returning, accomplished offensive players, the Big Red's primary rivals for the title are no surprise:  Ohio Wesleyan and Kenyon.  Read Denison's press release.  Read the the NCAC press release.
 
Don't miss the insightful video interview of Coach Caravana about the coming season conducted by Andrew Luftgrass!  Lufgrass will also be a key contributor to the coming 2-part series looking back on 60 years of Denison Lacrosse.
 

 


 CHOOSE DENISON'S GREATEST PLAYERS  
 
February 11, 2013
 
Thanks to all who voted last week for our 1970's All Decade team.  Results will be posted next week.
 
Until then, we continue our celebration of the Big Red's 60 years by giving you the chance to choose whom you think were the best players of the 2000-09 decade
 
Over the next weeks, Denison Lacrosse Alumni will cast their votes to select the Big Red's best players by decade in random order.  Only one decade will be posted at a time.  Members of Denison's All Decade Teams will be the candidates you'll choose from to identify the Big Red's All Time Greatest Players.
 
 
 
 
 2013 SEASON BEGINS 
 
January 31, 2013

The 2013 season began this week as the team gathered together to start its 61st season of lacrosse.  Denison opens the year as the NCAC's defending champion after completing last season ranked #8 in the nation.  The Big Red is ranked #9 in the Inside Lacrosse preseason poll.  Denison lost 11 seniors to graduation, most of them on offense.  At the other end of the field, most of the defense returns and looks to be exceptional.  Read more to read our preseason report. 
 
Coach Caravana likes this team a lot.  It's fast, athletic, coachable and the roster is full of great kids.  Read our interview with him on his thoughts about the coming season. 

 
 
 MEET THE TEAM:  TYLER KING   

January 27, 2013
  
The DLA is dedicated to helping its members and current varsity players network for employment opportunities.  We begin the 2013 lacrosse season with an interview of senior offensive midfielder Tyler King from Warrenton, VA.  A double major in Economics and Spanish, Tyler's interested in sales and trading or research for bank or other financial services company in New York City.
 
Tyler is a 3-year letterman for the Big Red and, according to Head Coach Mike Caravana, will be one of the team's offensive stalwarts this season.  Tyler played for the DLA-sponsored Denison Open Division team in the Lake Placid tournament in 2011, starring at the face-off position.
 
Read our interview with Tyler.
 
 
 STEVE HETTRICH '98 INDUCTED INTO HALL OF FAME 
 
Oct. 26, 2012
 
In a ceremony conducted this fall during Big Red Weekend, Steve Hettrich '98 became the 12th lacrosse player inducted into Denison's Athletic Hall of Fame.  He follows Bob Martin who was inducted in 2011.
 
Hettrich was a goal scoring machine for the Big Red, leading the team as a senior with 37, 14 more than the next highest scoring shooter.  He was also #2 on the team in total points.
 
Today, Steve lives in Chicago with his family and owns a decorative painting firm.

Read our interview.
 
 
 CARAVANA WELCOMES NEW COACHES 
 
Oct. 3, 2012

Led by the return of 2x All American Tanner Smith '11, Head Coach Mike Caravana welcomes 3 new assistants to the staff for the 2013 season.  Read the official press release.