The Kenyon field hockey team earned its first overtime victory of the season on Sunday, Oct. 20 after defeating Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) 1-0, sweeping the season series with the Battling Bishops and pushing their season record to 10-5 (8-3 conference).
Kenyon previously defeated OWU 2-0 earlier in the season, with the Ladies’ dominant line of defense not allowing any shots on goal throughout the match.
It was an even grittier defensive battle in the second meeting of these two teams, as Kenyon and OWU held each other to just four shots on goal between the two of them through the first 70 minutes of play. Stephanie Ladman ’14 had a defensive save in regulation that helped keep the Battling Bishops off of the scoreboard in the highly contested match.
“It was a little close, but at the end we knew what we had to do,” Ladman said.
Going into overtime, Co-Captain Maddie Breschi ’16 knew the Ladies would have an advantage in the next 10 minutes of seven-on-seven play.
“Overtime usually plays to our advantage because we’re more of a skilled team and have more space to move,” Breschi said.
Sure enough, Breschi and the Ladies were successful in the overtime session.
“We had gotten a lot of long hits ﾅ Alex Bair [’14] took it to the right and split a few girls and took it to the endline,” Breschi said. “I was open at the stroke area and she passed me the ball and I turned around, dribbled, set myself and flicked it to the left side of the cage.”
The goal was Breschi’s first game-winner of the season and extended her scoring streak to five games. With her fifth assist of the season, Bair moved into second on the team in that category, tied with Co-Captain Sammy Johnston ’15. Goalkeeper Sydney Carney-Knisely ’14 earned her second shutout of the season, improving her goals against average to 1.47.
Coming into the home stretch of the regular season, Kenyon will face Denison University this coming Saturday, Oct. 26 in a matchup between the two highest scoring teams in the North Coast Athletic Conference , with both squads averaging over 3.5 goals per game. The Big Red bested the Ladies earlier in the season 3-1, but Breschi is optimistic on the team’s chances this time around.
“We’ve improved a lot since then, we just need to play the way we know we can play,” she said.
Since their loss to Denison, Kenyon has gone 6-1 ﾗ outscoring their opponents 26-9. Denison will be riding an 11-game winning streak into the match, outscoring their opponents 42-5 in that time.
The upcoming match will also have playoff seed implications, as Denison will need to survive Kenyon in order to avoid falling to second place in the NCAC, which would then pit the Ladies and Big Red against each other in a conference semi-final match up.
Regardless of the result on Saturday, the field hockey team is on track to have its first winning season since 2006, and all eyes are on a NCAC playoff berth.