The Kenyon field hockey team’s season came to an end at the hands of DePauw University in a 2-1 loss in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) championship on Saturday, Nov. 9.
Saturday’s game, which marked the farthest Kenyon advancement in the NCAC tournament since 2007, started off grim for the Ladies as No. 1-seeded DePauw put themselves up 1-0 less than two minutes into the match. Before the first half came to a close, the Tigers found the back of the cage once again, making the score 2-0 going into the second half of play.
“We just had to talk about our game plan again,” Head Coach Jacque DeMarco said about her preparation of the team for the second half. “Remind them that they are capable and that we can play with them and that we can score.”
And score they did. Co-Captain Maddie Breschi ’16 got Kenyon on the scoreboard with 30 minutes remaining in regulation, driving home a shot off of an assist from Rachel Hall ’15’s penalty corner to cut DePauw’s lead to one. With the goal, Breschi increased her season scoring total to 18, breaking Kenyon’s single-season goals record set in 1988.Although Kenyon shut out DePauw in the second half, DePauw’s defense was up to the task, holding Kenyon to three shots on goal for the half in order to come away with a 2-1 win, claiming their second consecutive NCAC title.
Despite the loss, the Ladies finished their season with an overall record of 13 wins and seven losses, making this their best season since 2006.
In addition to this distinction, both Breschi and Hall were recognized as the NCAC Player of the Week during the season. Breschi, along with Alex Bair ’14 and Emmy Weiner ’16, represented Kenyon on the all-NCAC tournament team for their performances in the conference tournament.
Looking back on the season, Co-Captain Suzie Gurzenda ’14 attributed the close-knit nature of the team as a primary source for the Ladies’ success and commitment that took them to the NCAC championship.
“The team was super well-committed,” Gurzenda said. “It goes back to really looking out for each other and really wanting to be with each other every moment of every day, and every day in practice we wanted to be there, wanted to be with each other. So I think that just culminated into really productive practices and hence really productive games and just slowly, step-by-step, we had a really productive season because of it.”
Whether looking at Kenyon’s overtime victory at Wooster or its win over Denison in the NCAC semifinals, it is clear that the program re-established itself as an NCAC power this season, and DeMarco believes Kenyon is capable of remaining in the top tier of the conference for seasons to come.
“We deserve to be in the [NCAC] championship,” DeMarco said. “And there’s no reason at this point why we shouldn’t be.”