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Ladies beat Wooster, then down Denison for playoff win

Ladies beat Wooster, then down Denison for playoff win

By Staff

The Kenyon field hockey team (12-6, 10-4 conference) closed out their regular season in dramatic fashion last Saturday, coming from behind to edge the College of Wooster in the closing seconds of the match.

Kenyon then faced off against Denison University in the North Coast Athletic Conference semifinals in Granville last night, their first trip to the conference playoffs since 2008. The Ladies beat the Big Red 1-0 to advance to the conference championship game.

In the Ladies’ final regular season game against Wooster on Saturday, Nov. 2, things looked strong early on as Alex Bair ’14 drilled a shot past the Wooster goalkeeper at 10:31 for the 1-0 lead.

Unwilling to be shut out in their final home match of the season, Wooster battled back to score with just 1:39 remaining in the first half, and again early in the second half to pull ahead 2-1.

Wooster’s lead vanished at the 52:26 mark, however, as Hannah Drake ’16 tied the game up at two after burying a shot off a pass from Bair.

With the game still tied with one minute left in regulation, Co-Captain Maddie Breschi ’16 provided the last-second heroics for Kenyon.

“I knew that the time was getting pretty low,” Breschi said. “I remember looking at the clock and it being like 1:45, 1:33 and it was kind of getting down to the wire ナ [Co-Captain] Sam [Johnston ’15] had it on the sideline and she just saw me in the middle and I got the ball and I just started taking it upfield. I pulled right and went up the field and went right into the circle.”

After realizing she had a clear look at the cage, Breschi pushed her shot between the goalkeeper’s left foot and the right post for the go-ahead score with a mere 23 seconds remaining in regulation.

Breschi’s goal brought her season scoring total to 42 points and 17 goals in the season ラ breaking both Kenyon’s single-season points record and matching the single-season goals record.

“It was really exciting, I was pretty pumped,” Breschi said.

With one last opportunity for Wooster to send the match into overtime, Kenyon’s defense held strong for the final seconds of play, and the Ladies secured their first victory at Wooster in seven years.

“It’s hard, honestly, coming away from Wooster winning,” Head Coach Jacque DeMarco said. “And it’s really nice to see our team come back from being down and winning the game. It was a really good victory for us,” DeMarco said.

The win against Wooster meant the Ladies would meet Denison in the playoffs. Despite falling to the Big Red twice earlier this year, DeMarco was confident the Ladies had what it takes to steal one from Denison in postseason play before they faced off against the Big Red yesterday.

“Yes, they are a very good team, and I won’t take any of that away from them,” DeMarco said before the game. “But I think that we are just as good as they are, and when we work well together and focus on our team, we can beat anybody.”

And that they did. The No. 2-seeded Big Red came out strong, controlling the ball for most of the first half, attempting eight shots, compared to just four by Kenyon.

But the Ladies finally broke the deadlock towards the end of the second half, when Susie Gurzenda ’14 launched a pass from Bair into the back of the Denison cage to give the Ladies the lead. The Kenyon defense went on to hold the Big Red scoreless, sealing the victory.

Kenyon will head to Crawfordsville, Ind. to face DePauw University on Saturday, Nov. 9 in the conference championship game. The Ladies are 0-2 against the Tigers this season.

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