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Men’s soccer ties No. 1 Ohio Wesleyan

By Esteban Bachelet

The Kenyon Lords soccer team paced up and down under the lights of the Jay Martin Soccer Complex in Delaware, Ohio, on a blistery cold Tuesday night before settling into formation. This was not just another game. Opposite the Lords stood the Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) Battling Bishops a team ranked No. 1 in the nation on both the Top 25 and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Top 25. The Lords had plenty of drive left over after defeating Wabash College 2-1 on Saturday at Mavec Field, but knew the Battling Bishops presented a steeper challenge.

The game was an intense battle from the very beginning, and the Lords matched the Battling Bishops with relative ease. In the end, Kenyon tied OWU 1-1, sinking their opponents to 16-0-1 overall and 5-0-1 in North Atlantic Coast Association (NCAC) play and putting the Lords’ record at 11-3-2 (4-0-2 NCAC).

“They didn’t expect us to be as high-flying as we were. We came out with a lot of energy,” Lords Co-Captain Andrew Parmelee ’14 said.

The Lords outshot their opponents by five and took six corner kicks within the first 16 minutes. At one point, the Battling Bishops scrambled to clear the ball before it crossed the goal line. Thirty-two minutes in, the Lords found a breakthrough.

The ball popped out to Jeremiah Barnes ’16, who looped it back across toward the back post. Parmelee was there to nod it down with his head, giving Kenyon the 1-0 lead. Then the Battling Bishops changed their lineup, bringing in multiple substitutes.

“They have basically two lineups,” Parmelee said. “Twenty minutes go by in the half and they bring out a full set of guys who are all very good players. Some of them, even debatably their best player Colton [Bloecher], are on the second line. We knew this.”

Kenyon, on the other hand, used only three substitutes the whole game. Slowly, the Battling Bishops began to wear the Lords down. Kenyon was outshot 12-4 in the second half, forcing the Lords to backpedal. OWU applied intense pressure late in the half, finding the net in the 77th minute. The game went into overtime with neither team able to break through after two periods.

“We definitely felt like we could have won,” Parmelee said. Still, the Lords found a way to equal the best team in the country, and did it with relative ease.

Prior to the OWU game, the Lords beat Wabash 2-1. “It was a hard game to play because of the rain and the cold,” defender Cameron Scott ’15 said. Regardless, the Lords broke through twice courtesy of Barnes and Nate Petrou ’15 before settling and bringing out reserve players.

“As the season draws to an end, the stamina of each player decreases,” said Tony Amolo ’17, who flicked the ball to Petrou on the second goal.

Wabash was able to capitalize on the Lord’s decision to rest some players in the second half off its only shot on goal. Still, Kenyon outshot Wabash 18 to 1.

The Lords will head to Hiram College on Saturday, Oct. 26 to take on the Terriers at 1 p.m.

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