Section: Lacrosse

Nelson dominates face-offs as men’s lacrosse moves to 3-0

Nelson dominates face-offs as men’s lacrosse moves to 3-0

Nelson went 63-65 in face-offs. | COURTESY OF ISOO O’BRIEN

The men’s lacrosse team opened its season with three straight wins. After two home games against Baldwin Wallace University and Capital University, the Owls went on the road to Westerville, Ohio, to play against Otterbein University. 

The Owls season opener on Feb. 22 against Baldwin Wallace was a tight contest throughout. The game got off to a slow start with only one goal scored by the Yellow Jackets in the first ten minutes. After Balwin Wallace added to its goal tally with 3:26 left in the first, Kenyon stormed back to score four unanswered goals. In the second quarter, the Owls and Yellow Jackets exchanged goals to go into halftime with Kenyon leading at the midway mark 6-5.

After halftime, Kenyon added a goal before the Yellow Jackets went on a 4-0 run to lead 9-7 toward the end of the third frame. In the fourth quarter, the Owls mounted a comeback. With two minutes left, Kenyon tied the game before David Chintala ’26 scored his fifth goal of the afternoon for the game winner with 35 seconds left to make the score 11-10. Thomas Nelson ’25 won his 24th face-off in as many attempts to guarantee the Owls their first win of the season.

On Saturday, Kenyon kept the momentum going against Capital. The Owls got out to an early 3-1 lead after the first quarter, and from there they soared to a 16-8 win.

Nelson, who went 43-44 in face-offs in the two games and collected 34 ground balls, earned NCAC Men’s Lacrosse Athlete of the Week honors and was named to the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association’s (USILA) Team of the Week. “It’s pretty cool,” Nelson wrote in an email to the Collegian. “I’m really just happy that it’s helping our team win.” Attackman Jack Giuffre ’23, who is second on the team in points with seven (4G, 8A) in three games, recognized Nelson’s accomplishment. “[He] has been absolutely dominant so far,” Giuffre wrote in an email to the Collegian. “Great kid with a great work ethic.” 

Kenyon defeated Otterbein on the road Wednesday. At the end of the first quarter, the Owls led the Cardinals 3-1. Each team scored a goal in the second frame, and they went into halftime 4-2. The Owls came out of half firing, scoring three goals in the first eight minutes of the half to establish a 7-2 lead. From there, the Owls never looked back, coasting to a 14-5 victory. Chintala notched five goals, while Giuffre scored once and had four assists. Nelson was again stellar in face-offs, going 20-21 on the night. 

Kenyon will next compete in Colorado during its spring break trip. The Owls return to the Field at Benson Bowl on March 25 against Ohio Wesleyan University to start NCAC play. Nelson views the upcoming games as a chance to improve the team. “It’s just about playing our best lacrosse in conference play and learning what we need to do to get it done in May.”

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