The Kenyon men’s soccer team clinched their fifth straight first-place NCAC regular-season finish, defeating the DePauw University Tigers 4-0 on Senior Day. The Lords have now won or tied 34 consecutive regular-season games in the NCAC, with their last loss coming in October of 2016 against the Tigers. They followed up Saturday’s victory with a 5-1 win over Oberlin College in the NCAC semifinals, earning them a spot in the title game.
The Lords struck within the first five minutes. Luke Muther ’22 capitalized on a missed shot from Sam Carson ’22, and fired in the opening goal. The game would remain competitive throughout the rest of the half, with the score 1-0.
The Lords, led by Tomas Munoz Reyes ’22, dominated the second half. Reyes scored two goals on two shots in the half, within two minutes of each other (in the 67th and 69th minutes, respectively). His efforts landed him the NCAC Athlete of the Week award, the first of his career, and the first of the season for the conference powerhouse Lords.
On Wednesday, the Lords hosted the Oberlin Yeomen for the second time in a week at Mavec Field, this time in the NCAC tournament semifinal. Kenyon, ranked ninth in the nation, entered the tournament as the first seed.
The purple and black faced adversity early on in the game. A misplayed ball from the Kenyon defensive half in the first minute led to an Oberlin player being fouled in the box. Nic Jandeleit converted the subsequent penalty to give his team the lead, slotting it past goalkeeper Ian McInturf ’21.
However, the Lords did not panic. They created numerous opportunities in the ensuing minutes, and in the 22nd minute they found the equalizer. When Oberlin committed a foul on Scott Upton ’22 on the edge of the 18-yard box, Upton converted his spotkick for his sixth goal of the season. The game entered halftime 1-1, leaving the Kenyon sideline and those in attendance anxious.
The Lords came back out strong though, dominating the second 45 minutes. In the 48th minute, Jack Cohen ’21 made a run down the left wing and then lifted a cross into the box. Upton met the cross with a powerful header into the right corner, giving his team the lead with his second goal of the game.
The Lords continued to put the pressure on the Oberlin defense, and found a third goal 11 minutes later. A cross from the left by John Penas ’20 found Sebastian Gaese ’22, who laid it off nicely to Cohen, who then proceeded to fire it home from close range. Goals from Atli Hrafnkelsson ’23 and Aidan Schoellkopf ’22 soon after gave Kenyon four goals in the half, and a resounding 5-1 victory. In the second half, the Lords outshot the Yeomen by a whopping 22-1 margin.
On Saturday, the Lords will be at home for the NCAC championship, playing Ohio Wesleyan University for the third consecutive year.