After Kenyon women’s soccer marched through North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) play undefeated during the regular season, the Ladies fell in the tournament finals 1-0 to Wittenberg University, ending the Ladies’ bid for an automatic slot in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament.
The first half was dominated by Wittenberg, which fired off nine shots while the Ladies fired off zero.
The Tigers broke the scoreless draw in the 16th minute when Wittenberg’s Kaitlyn Krieg took a shot from the top of the box and tucked the ball into the top left corner of the net.
“Wittenberg came out strong from the start, and it took us some time to figure out how to play our game,” Camila Kirtzman ’18 said. “It wasn’t until well into the second half that we really started playing how we know we’re capable of playing.”
In the second half, the Ladies picked up the offensive pressure but failed to break through a stout Tigers defense. Kenyon fired off eight shots, three of which were on target.
The Ladies’ best chance came in 61st minute, when Gillian Blackwell ’18 streaked down the left side and passed the ball across the box to Samantha Hayes ’21, who couldn’t get enough power on her shot to get it past the goal line.
One more opportunity for the Ladies came in the 65th minute on a free kick just outside the box, but the shot from Campbell Fee ’18 sailed just over the crossbar.
With the 1-0 loss, the Ladies were shut out of the NCAA tournament, but the youth of the team moving forward leaves players optimistic about the future.
“We had an incredible season, and do not want to let our loss in the finals of the tournament take away from any of that,” Kirtzman said. “I hope the underclassmen can take the momentum and confidence from this year into next season. I think over the next few years, we will see KCWS bringing the plaque back.”