The men’s soccer team kicked off its 2015 season on Tuesday with a 3-0 road victory over the Waynesburg University Yellow Jackets.
The team’s young talent shone in the opener, as William Bennett ’19 dished out two assists and David Kim ’19 scored a late goal. The Lords, who also won both of their preseason games, over Tiffin University and Ohio Dominican University, are coming off a strong 2014 season that included winning the NCAC tournament and making it to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament. Despite losing six starters to graduation, the Lords are ranked ninth heading into a 2015 season, for which they have high expectations.
The team’s high expectations have likely developed as a result of the returning core of players. Forward Tony Amolo ’17, midfielder Dalton Eudy ’17 and goalkeeper Sam Clougher ’17 are expected to be key players for the Lords this fall. Amolo had a great 2014 season, starting 20 out of 22 games; he led the team with 14 goals and racked up five assists. In the midfield, Eudy is also looking to improve on a great season for the Lords; he started every game last year and scored two goals on the season, one of which lifted Kenyon over Ohio Wesleyan University in overtime of the NCAC championship game. Clougher served as a defensive anchor for the Lords last year, keeping opponents scoreless in the majority of the games he played.
Replacing an all-star defense, most of whom graduated in the spring, proved to be the key challenge for the team this past off-season. Clougher is the only returning member of a defense that held 15 opponents scoreless last year, and will play a significant role in the team’s 2015 performance. Billy O’Neill ’18 and Oliver Wynn ’18 both appear to be stepping into starting roles on defense, as the two of them have started all three of the games the Lords have played this fall.
The team is also integrating several new faces, with 13 first-year Lords joining the squad. “The freshmen haven’t had any jitters and have played like they are seasoned collegiate players,” Eudy said. These new first years, most of whom will come off the bench to start the season, according to O’Neill ’18 are going to be instrumental in providing key depth and filling the void created by the seniors’ departure.