By Ryan Muthiora
The Kenyon women’s soccer team’s season came to an end last weekend with a loss to ninth-ranked Thomas More College (Crestview Hills, Ky.) in the second round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament.
In the first round of the national tournament this past Saturday, the unranked Ladies faced 24th-ranked Emory University (Atlanta, Ga.) and upset the Eagles 1-0. Becca Romaine ’15 scored what would be the winning goal 28 minutes into the first half, giving the Ladies a chance to advance to the next round in the tournament. Kenyon maintained tough defense as Emory outshot Kenyon 23-3. Goalkeeper Alissa Poolpol ’16 had a highly impressive game, allowing the Ladies to have a shutout. After that first-round upset, the Ladies were confident heading into their next match, especially with Romaine as dominant as ever at the forefront of their offensive attack.
“We went in wanting to play our best game, but also wanting to have fun,” Romaine said. “In the end, we were just playing for each other.”
After a tough 44 minutes against Thomas More, the Ladies found themselves ahead 1-0 from another Romaine goal off of a penalty kick. It was the 18th goal of the season for Romaine and the 50th of her college career. It took nearly 25 minutes for the one-loss Saints to equalize, and then, with only six minutes remaining, Thomas More was awarded a penalty kick and took the lead, making the final score 2-1.
Goalkeeper Alissa Poolpol ’16 tallied a remarkable 18 saves over the two-game span, including a shutout against Emory, one of the nation’s most respected women’s soccer programs. This effort played a major role in helping keep her team’s season going. Poolpol was named goalkeeper of the All-NCAC Team, her first appearance on that team’s roster.
Besides the honors given to Romaine and Poolpol, the Ladies hauled in even more accolades. Co-Captain Marie Laube ’16 also earned a spot on the All-NCAC roster as a defensive player for the second time in as many seasons, and midfielder Katie Hoener ’15 made the cut for the All-NCAC second team. Head Coach Kelly Bryan, who guided her team to the national tournament for the first time in eight years, was named the conference’s coach of the year.