Kenyon field hockey improved its impressive record to 14-2 this past week, adding two more wins over North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) opponents Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) and Wittenberg University, defeating both 2-1. Due to these wins, the Ladies secured a home match in the NCAC semifinals.
Despite the close score, the Ladies dominated Ohio Wesleyan offensively: They outshot their opponents 36-15. However, Kenyon had difficulty getting their shots past OWU’s goalkeeper Alycia Goins, who tallied an impressive 17 saves, keeping her team in the game. On the other side of the field, Sarah Speroff ’18 continued her outstanding season, collecting eight saves and thwarting several OWU breakaways.
Kenyon struck first when Shannon Hart ’18 picked up a loose ball in the circle during the first half and stuck it into the back of the net.
This goal did not faze the Battling Bishops, who fought back and won a corner less than a minute later. After Speroff blocked the initial shot off of the corner, OWU’s Erin Greer took the rebound and tucked it into the back of the net to tie the score at one going into the half.
The score remained tied for the majority of the match until Olivia O’Connell ’21 scored the game winning-goal for the Ladies. O’Connell gathered a rebound while facing away from the net, when she spun around and fired a shot, scoring the go-ahead goal and giving the Ladies the win.
Against Wittenberg, the Ladies celebrated Senior Day with another 2-1 victory, adding yet another win to the four-year record of the senior athletes, which stands at 65-15. This record is the best record for any class in field hockey program history.
“Words can’t even begin to describe the impact of their efforts within their play and constant support both on and off the field,” Hannah Paterakis ’19 said. “The nine of them have set a bar for this team each in their own way and always push us to surpass that bar with them.”
Paterakis broke the 0-0 score in the 16th minute when she collected the rebound of Molly Keen’s ’21 shot and tucked it past the goal line. Ten minutes later, Hart doubled the Ladies’ lead as her shot deflected over the defense and into the goal. This was Hart’s fifth goal of the season.
In the second half, Wittenberg quelled the Ladies’ attack and did not allow another goal. The Polar Bears did manage to get one goal back in the 58th minute of the match, but it was too little, too late as Kenyon solidified home field advantage in the NCAC semi-final game.
“All of us recognize that being on this team is a privilege, and it is our goal to play that way,” Paterakis said. “At this point, we’ve put in all the work; we just need to go out there and play.”
The Ladies have two more games left this season against the College of Wooster on Oct. 26 and Denison University on Oct. 28. Kenyon holds a one-game advantage over Denison in the title race, and if the Ladies can continue their winning streak, they will lift the regular season title for the third time in four years.