By Esteban Bachelet, Reed Dickerson, and Ian Round
The Lords soccer team ended its season with a 2-1 loss to Messiah College on Saturday, Nov. 23 in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Division III tournament. Messiah went on to win the 2013 national title, its 10th in the last 13 years.
“You can’t fear them, because if you fear them, you are toast,” Head Coach Chris Brown said of the message passed to his team heading into the contest.
Messiah started strong, registering a goal within the first three minutes. “It was a great shot, but it was a little fortuitous how it dropped at the [Messiah] player’s feet,” Brown said.
Kenyon bounced back with a goal just before halftime by Nate Petrou ’15 after a mixup in Messiah’s backline. However, Messiah regained control and scored a late-game winner to send the Lords packing.
Despite the loss, the Lords made their presence felt against the best team in the nation. “They were very complimentary towards us, and I know they spoke to other coaches about us too; we caused some problems,” Brown said.
Kenyon finished with an overall record of 16-5-3, the program’s highest win total since 1996. In the final coaches’ poll of the season, the Lords were rewarded for their great season and were tabbed as the No. 14 team in Division III.
“Obviously, losing the seniors will be difficult, but we return the bulk of the team,” Brown said. “There is the potential for success. I think the guys will be highly motivated to replicate what they did, and that is key.”
Just before Thanksgiving break, the Ladies cross country team sent one of its best runners to compete in the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championship on Nov. 23 in Hanover, Ind.
Co-Captain Jenna Willett ’14 ended her Kenyon athletic career in the 6K course placing 86th out of 280 participants with a final time of 22.31.1. Willett averaged 3:46 minutes per kilometer during the entire race, and fell only 13 seconds behind pace with the winner of the race for the first two kilometers.
Willett’s time earned her spot at the championships with two top-10 finishes to close out the regular season. The first race was a second-place finish out of 97 runners at the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Championship, and the second was a 10th-place slot out of 244 runners in the NCAA Great Lakes Regionals.
Willett closes out her Kenyon career with a number of awards and accolades, including four All-NCAC selections, three All-Region honors and being named an All-American in her junior year.
Katie Charles, head volleyball coach for the last six years, was dismissed Nov. 18 after her team went 7-42 over the past two years. Co-Captain Sierra DeLeon ’14 said Charles was asked to resign Nov. 18 and notified the team the next day.
“We feel bad for her as a human being,” DeLeon said. “But at the same time I think that some of us feel the program needs a change.”
DeLeon, who was named to the all-conference second team this year, speculated that Charles was leaving because of the team’s poor record and lack of improvement.
“Despite our coach’s devotion to the team ﾗ and she really did devote herself to the team ﾗ I think there was a really basic lack of communication and understanding,” DeLeon said.
Director of Athletics Peter Smith said via email that a committee, on which he serves, will search for a new coach over winter break. He said finalists for the position will meet the team in early January.