Last fall in the NCAC championship game, Kenyon men’s soccer watched as Denison University lifted the conference trophy on Mavec Field. The Owls got revenge on Wednesday with a 3-0 win over the Big Red at home. After a 2-0 victory at home on Saturday against DePauw University, they are 13-0-1 (5-0-1 NCAC).
The Owls were ready for the Big Red to come to town. Before the game, Alem Duratovic ’25 emphasized the team’s eagerness to get back on the pitch for revenge against Denison. “Everyone is motivated to play and win,” he wrote in an email to Collegian.
Kenyon came out of the gate strong on Wednesday. Around the 20-minute mark, the Big Red found its footing and generated a few offensive chances. However, neither team could find the back of the net to jump out to an early lead. At halftime, the score was tied.
In the 53rd minute, the Big Red sent the ball into the box from midfield. Jack Pedreschi ’25 was forced to make a save after the header was put on net. He ended up making two more saves to record his NCAC-leading seventh shutout.
Ten minutes later, Scott Upton ’23 and Sam Carson ’23 combined on multiple give-and-gos down the field to set up Sebastian Gaese ’23 for his seventh goal of the season. As the team celebrated, coach Chris Brown made four substitutions to rearrange his lineup. The Owls did not sit back defensively and wait for the final whistle, though.
In the 72nd minute, Duratovic made a run into the box, and after a quick pass from Atli Hrafnkelsson ’23, shot the ball past the charging goalkeeper to bring the score to 2-0.
The Owls continued to keep the pressure up. In the 80th minute, a Big Red defender stuck his hand out on a bouncing ball about 20 yards out from the goal. The referee wasted no time issuing a yellow card. On the ensuing free kick, Upton placed the ball beautifully past a diving goalkeeper into the top corner. The Owls sailed through the rest of the match, earning a hard-fought victory.
Gaese viewed the match as a way for the Owls to show off their style of play. “This is just another opportunity to prove ourselves as one of the best teams in the country,” he wrote to the Collegian before the match. Currently the Owls sit at No. 3 in the rankings. The team will have to wait until next Wednesday to see if they pass either No. 2 Messiah University or No. 1 University of Chicago.
Regardless of the rankings, the Owls are now in full control of their destiny for seeding in the NCAC. Kenyon is six points up on the second place team, Dension. With two games remaining on the season for Kenyon and three games for Denison, the Owls can clinch home field advantage throughout the NCAC tournament with four more points (a win and a tie).
Aiden Burns ’24, who is third on the team in minutes, emphasized the importance of home-field advantage. “Having the benefit of fans and a quality field is critical especially come playoff time,” he wrote in an email to the Collegian.
Fans can show their support once more in the Owls’ final match of the regular season against Wittenberg University on Oct. 29. Their next game is at Hiram College on Saturday.
After an upsetting 1-0 loss against conference opponent DePauw University on Saturday, the women’s soccer team bounced back on Tuesday to earn a 1-0 road victory against Oberlin College. Their record is 4-5-4 (2-1-1 NCAC).
Kenyon was unable to score against DePauw despite firing four shots on goal. The Tigers scored after the Owls turned the ball over in the 22nd minute. The goal stood as the game-winner, as neither team could find the back of the net for the rest of the contest.
On Tuesday, neither Oberlin nor Kenyon scored in the first half, but the Owls were able to score in the 61st minute off a corner kick. Sadie Gould ’24 put away a stellar header for the only goal of the entire game. The goal was her third of the season.
Aside from this breakthrough, the match was mostly a defensive affair. When Oberlin attacked, the Owls’ defense had to react quickly and effectively. Claudia Abram ’25, Kit Ross ’24 and Jackie Thompson ’24, all playing the entirety of the match, proved to be a solid defensive set for the team. Fortunately for the Owls, they kept a clean sheet against their opponents.
In hopes of building on this momentum, the team looks to come away with a road win against Hiram College this Saturday. The Owls have performed well against the Terriers in the past and look to extend their winning streak against Hiram to eight.