On Saturday, the Kenyon College men’s soccer team defeated the Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) Bishops in a come-from-behind victory to win the NCAC Tournament for the fifth time in six years.
Things looked bleak for the Lords in the first half: OWU’s strong defense held the Lords to only two shots on goal during the first 45 minutes. The Bishops used Kenyon’s lack of offensive production to their advantage and scored off of a mishandled ball in the Lords defensive half.
Kenyon went into the half down 1-0 to a team they had beaten 4-0 in last year’s conference title game. However, the Lords made some offensive adjustments at the break. Their midfield, which had remained fairly passive during the first half, dialed up the intensity.
In the 57th minute, midfielder Chayne Bruneau ’23 caught the Bishops defense off guard by sending a long through-ball into OWU territory that found forward Sam Carson ’22 in space. Carson, who has proved deadly all season in one-on-one situations, easily slotted home the goal and leveled the score. “It was a great look from Chayne, and we got lucky that it got behind them, but good teams punish mistakes and I was able to do that,” Carson said.
In the second half, the defense was phenomenal, allowing just one shot on goal in the second half. In the 74th minute, Atli Hrafnkelsson ’23 scored the game-winning goal off of a mishandled ball for his ninth goal of the season.
The Lords’ win secured them an automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament, which will mark their seventh consecutive appearance. The first two rounds will be held at Mavec Field, with Kenyon taking on PSU-Behrend University (Pa.) at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Immediately following, Rochester University (N.Y.) will also play Hanover College (Ind.) in Gambier. The winners of these two matchups will face off in the second round on Sunday.