Looking to rebound from last season’s crushing penalty shootout loss against Case Western Reserve University in the third round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III tournament, the Kenyon men’s soccer team began their season with two contrasting games.
On Friday, the Lords defeated the Ohio Christian University Trailblazers (OCU) in a 7-0 blowout in their home opener while they lost a heartbreaking 3-2 battle at John Carroll University on Tuesday.
The Lords imposed their will in their first game of the season against the Trailblazers—an out-of-conference foe from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
The Lords dominated the Trailblazers in almost every statistical category. Not only was Ohio Christian held scoreless, but they managed only one shot the entire match, while Kenyon attempted 40. The Lords also had 18 shots on goal and 16 corner-kick attempts, while the Trailblazers had none.
The Lords saw substantial production from their first years in the match: Minka Soumah scored in the 70th minute and Atli Hrafnkelsson knocked in a pair of goals within five minutes of each other late in the game.
“If you look at the score sheet against Ohio Christian University, the talent in the [first years] was displayed perfectly,” said goalkeeper Lev Rosenbush ’22, who played the second half of the match. “We have even more depth this season with a large pool of very competitive newcomers … Everyone in this team is pushing each other and nobody is complacent.”
Max Taylor ’20 also contributed two goals to the 7-0 rout. The Lords’ offensive onslaught set the team record for most goals in a season opener since they joined the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) in 1984.
In their second match of the season, the Lords fell to the John Carroll University Lobos of the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) 3-2, despite defeating them 4-0 a season prior.
The match was highly physical, with the two teams combining for 35 total fouls, 20 of which were committed by the Lords.
The Lords led the match 1-0 at halftime, thanks to a goal by Mac Nardiello-Smith ’23 in the 33rd minute. Despite Jack Cohen’s ’21 goal in the 65th minute, the Lobos went on to outscore the Lords 3-1 in the second half—and sealed the fate of the match with a go-ahead goal in the 76th minute.
The Lords’ next match is in Gambier against Colorado College on September 6 at 5 p.m., which will be their first match against the Tigers in over a decade. The Tigers enter the matchup with a 2-0 record.