By Esteban Bachelet
The Kenyon Lords are starting to believe. Last year, the men’s soccer team finished with a final overall record of 9-6-3. With two conference wins in a week, the Lords have passed last year’s win total at 10-3-1 overall with four games yet to play.
“Instead of drawing or losing this year, we’re pulling out wins,” Jeremiah Barnes ’16 said. “If we play to the level that we can play, we’ll make a deep run. Our goal is the North Coast Athletic Conference [NCAC] Championship.”
The Lords are well on their way to turning those expectations into reality. They dominated the Allegheny College Gators 4-1 on Oct. 5 and broke through the College of Wooster’s last line of defense in a 2-0 victory on Oct. 12. After trailing Denison University by one at halftime, the Lords came from behind to beat the Big Red 3-2 at home. The wins boosted the Lords to a 3-0-1 NCAC record. “Against Allegheny we turned up,” Head Coach Chris Brown told Kenyon Sports Connection. “We played probably the best we’ve played all season.”
During the match, Tony Amolo ’17 and Rei Mitsuyama ’15 each put up a goal and an assist. Alex Christoff ’15 and Jordan Glassman ’17 rounded out the scoring to comfortably sink the Gators.
The College of Wooster proved a slightly more challenging contest. “We knew we were better, but we also knew that they were going to put up a good fight,” Mitsuyama said.
With a quick start, the Lords had a chance two minutes into the game off some good movement. Later in the first half, Grant Carney ’15 rose up and scored a header only to watch the goal disallowed. “They called offside and it wasn’t,” said Barnes, who had whipped the ball in off a set piece. The Lords went on to hit the crossbar and the post courtesy of Amolo and Alistair Flynn ’14, respectively. Kenyon headed into halftime outshooting Wooster 13-2.
Nate Petrou ’15 broke the deadlock after finding plenty of space on the right side. “Jeremiah Barnes put in a good ball,” Petrou said. “The ball got lost in the box. It was more of a right place, right time kind of goal.”
With Wooster pressing forward to equalize the game, Barnes found space and picked up his second assist after sliding the ball back across the grain to Mitsuyama. The Lords sealed the game at 2-0, preserving their sixth shutout of the season.
Mitsuyama credits the team’s success to Kenyon’s wealth of goal scorers. “Our top two are two freshmen, [Amolo and Jordan Glassman], that have done a great job. But after that, we have five or six goal scorers,” Mitsuyama said.
Petrou also credited the first years and team consistency to the team’s successes. “This year we’ve done a good job of winning the games we are supposed to win even when we don’t play that great,” he said. At each position the Lords have found solid, reliable players.
The Lords next play on Saturday, Oct. 19 when they host Wabash College at 3:30 p.m.