Kenyon hosted the first- and second-round games of the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Tournament on Saturday, Nov. 10 and Sunday, Nov. 11 at Mavec Field, and prevailed in both games by scores of 3-0 against Maryville College and 2-1 against Carnegie Mellon University.
In their first game against Maryville College on Saturday, the Lords were dominant throughout the 3-0 victory. They came out and created a lot of chances early. In the fourth minute, Greg McNeer ’19 crossed the ball in from the left that hit off a Maryville defender and into the corner of the net. A few minutes later, a free kick flew just wide of goal, and in the ninth minute, a header from Brice Koval ’19 hit the post.
In the second half, the Lords outshot the Scots 12-1, playing with fluidity in all facets of the game, not allowing a shot on goal the entire half. They received a reward in the 51st minute, when after a corner and barrage of blocked shots, midfielder Max Taylor ’20 slotted home a left-footed shot into the corner.
As Kenyon continued to control possession and create chances, Collyn Carpenter ’21 capitalized on an opportunity in the 79th minute. After a cross from Aidan Schoellkopf ’22, the ball found its way to Sam Carson ’22, who lofted it back to Carpenter who then headed it into the corner for the Lords’ third goal.
In their second game, the battle between two nationally-ranked teams, Kenyon and Carnegie Mellon, lived up to expectations. Despite creating numerous chances in the first half, Kenyon failed to convert. In the 24th minute, John Penas ’20 crossed the ball from the left wing and found the head of midfield maestro David Anderson ’19, who directed it just wide. Ten minutes later, a ball over the top put Will Bennett ’19 in a one-on-one situation with the Tartans’ keeper. Bennett fired towards the top corner, forcing a remarkable diving save that tipped the ball just over the bar.
Carnegie Mellon mustered only two shots in the first 45 minutes, but their first shot on goal in the 50th minute found the back of the net. After the Tartans took the lead, the Lords proceeded to pepper the goal throughout the second half. Following missed opportunities by an unmarked Koval in the 72nd minute and Bret Lowry ’19 in the 82nd minute, it seemed Kenyon was headed for a gut-wrenching loss as time winded down.
With a minute remaining, the Lords earned a corner, giving them one final chance. McNeer whipped it in from the right toward the box. With the ball bouncing around and bodies flying, Keven Duan ’19 took possession and crossed it toward Carson’s foot. The ball bounced around like a pinball in the box as the Kenyon faithfuls’ hearts stopped. Carson was able to take a quick touch and poke the ball into the left side of the goal, sending the game into extra time.
The Lords carried their momentum into the extra period, accumulating five shots in the first OT period. In the 98th minute, Taylor floated a ball from the left goal line back across the frame of the goal to center back Sam Hosmer-Quint ’21, who headed the ball into the corner. Kenyon won 2-1.
“I think we showed a terrific will to win versus CMU,” Head Coach Chris Brown said. “The lads never gave up, which is a laudable attribute. They work so hard, and it was great to see it pay off.”
The Lords will travel to Cleveland on Friday to face Case Western University in the round of 16 as they look to go to the elite eight for the first time since 2016.