The roaring Kenyon crowd went quiet when Brianna Maggard ’18 placed the ball on the penalty mark. If she scored, Maggard could send the Ladies into the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) finals over the College of Wooster. After one last breath, she approached and fired a shot into the net, fooling the Wooster goalkeeper who dove to the left, attempting to save the Fighting Scots’ season. But it was to no avail as the Ladies celebrated their penalty shootout victory.
Prior to the penalty kick shootout, Wooster climbed to a 3-1 lead in the 80th minute of the match, a lead that the Ladies were unlikely to surmount. But the Ladies kept fighting.
At the 80:39 minute mark, Emma Klug ’18 chipped the ball over the goalkeeper’s head and cut the Wooster lead to one. This was Klug’s second goal of the game and third of the season.
Down by one with five minutes left, Samantha Hayes ’21 dribbled down the field while Morgan Engmann ’20 streaked up the field next to her. Hayes forced the Wooster goalkeeper into a one-on-one play when she snuck a pass to her left, and found Engmann in front of the goal. Engmann tapped the ball into the back of the net to tie the game at 3-3.
“For the past two years, our team has spoken a lot about the concept of ‘grit,’ and the importance of being a gritty team,” keeper Jillian Countey ’20 said. “I think ‘grit’ was on everyone’s mind that whole game, and we knew that if we kept pushing, the game would turn to our favor.”
After neither team could muster a goal in overtime, the game was forced into a penalty kick shootout. Campbell Fee ’18 and Caroline McNeer ’21 converted the first two penalties for the Ladies while Countey came up big with two saves in the first three Wooster penalties. Finally, after Wooster hit the crossbar on their fourth shot, Maggard finished it off for the Ladies.
With Maggard’s goal, the Ladies were sent into the NCAC final where they will face Wittenberg University on Nov. 4 on Mavec Field.
On a rainy Wednesday on Mavec Field, Kenyon men’s soccer defeated Denison University in a close 1-0 game, clinching the Lords’ spot in yet another North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) final. This will be the fifth straight appearance in the NCAC tournament finals for the Lords.
In the first half, the Lords dominated possession and goal-scoring opportunities. The Kenyon offense featured 16 shots compared to only two for the Big Red. The Lords finally broke through the stout Denison defense in the 37th minute. Brice Koval ’19 tucked the ball into the back of the net off an assist from Oliver Wynn ’18. This goal marked Koval’s sixth goal of the season, the secondmost goals this year for the Lords and Wynn’s second assist of the year.
The Kenyon offense pressed the Denison defense throughout the game. In the second half, the Lords fired off 18 more shots.
Only 11 of their 34 total shots were on target. The inability to convert scoring opportunities have plagued the Lords as they have a goal-to-shot ratio of .102 this season, which is lower than in the previous four years, where the team has averaged a ratio .132.
On defense, the Lords stifled a Big Red attack that averaged 12.2 shots per game, 1.47 goals per game and a .121 goals-to-shots ratio this season. Kenyon’s defense allowed just four shots and no goals, and keeper Ian McInturf ’21 was forced to make only two saves in the game.
With the win, the Lords will face Ohio Wesleyan University on Nov. 4, hoping to tally their fourth straight NCAC tournament title.