Section: Lacrosse

OWU and the weather rough up the Owls in NCAC opener

OWU and the weather rough up the Owls in NCAC opener

Owls hope to rebound against Denison. | COURTESY OF ISOO O’BRIEN

Despite Kenyon men’s lacrosse leading 4-0 early on, two stoppages for weather allowed Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) to storm back and defeat the Owls 10-8 in a turbulent game on Saturday in Gambier. The loss drops the Owls to 7-1 on the season.

Kenyon got off to a strong start and looked to fly away with the game after their first three shots on net all got by the OWU goalie. After adding a fourth goal at 7:16 in the first, the Owls led the Battling Bishops 4-0. 

Before the second quarter could begin, a thunderstorm forced each team to seek shelter inside the Lowry Center. During the nearly hour-long break, Head Coach Doug Misarti took the time to review the game plan and make adjustments. When the teams came back to the field, the game had a different feel to it. “It was hard because we came out so hot in the first quarter only to have our momentum cut short,”  Jack Giuffre ’23, who scored one of his three goals in the game before the first stoppage, wrote in an email to the Collegian. “I think we didn’t stay focused enough in the locker room during the break and that hurt us.”

OWU seemed to find its footing early in the second quarter when the game resumed, scoring two goals within the first five minutes. The Owls responded with three goals of their own in the quarter, and after another three goals from the Battling Bishops, the home team entered halftime leading 7-5. 

On Kenyon’s first possession of the second half, Giuffre completed the hat trick to put the Owls up 8-5. However, with around 11 minutes left in the third, the lights on the scoreboard went black as the power went out due to the high winds — gusts averaged 25 mph throughout the game, with some up to 50 mph (for more on the power outage, see “Kenyon’s campus goes dark”). The coaches gathered with the officials to decide how to proceed with the game, and they agreed to play the game using phones as clocks. Kenyon Athletics staff working the game yelled out the time to the players. According to Misarti, the coaches did not discuss postponing the game. “We had people in place to help us manage the game so we proceeded as well as we could given the situation,” he wrote in an email to the Collegian

Playing the game with the power out was an odd experience for Giuffre. “It was annoying not being able to know how much time was left in the game,” he said. When the game resumed, the Owls’ offense, like the power, was shut down. The Battling Bishops scored five goals while holding the Owls to none over the next 26 minutes. 

In the third quarter alone, OWU went 5-0 in face-offs, leading to a plethora of opportunities for the Battling Bishops. Additionally, Kenyon players were sent off three times in the quarter, allowing OWU to score a goal on the man-up. Even in ground balls — where Kenyon has excelled, having scooped more than its opponent in each game and leading in that category at half (21-14) — OWU managed to turn the tide. In the third quarter, OWU picked up five ground balls, compared to the Owls’ two. The Battling Bishops took full advantage of their opportunities, scoring three goals on five shots on net.

In the fourth quarter, the Owls could not stop the Battling Bishops charge. At 7:27, OWU took its first lead of the game, and then extended its lead with 5:23 left in the game. Kenyon was trying, but nothing seemed to go their way as they got assessed two penalties and took 11 shots. Only two of the shots were on net, and the OWU goalie made the saves needed to ensure the Battling Bishops left Gambier with a 10-8 win.

Next, Misarti will prepare the team to face No. 12 Denison University on Saturday in Gambier. The Owls are 0-15 all time against the Big Red and have lost the last two NCAC Championships to them. “We have a lot of information on them and will be prepared with a good game plan,” Misarti said. 

Looking ahead, though the loss drops Kenyon to 0-1 in conference play, the team is still focused on accomplishing their goals: making the playoffs, like they have done the past nine times in the 10 years of conference tournaments being held, and capturing its first NCAC title. “Though the loss is disappointing, our goals are all in front of us still,” said Misarti. “No one is going to feel sorry for a 7-1 team, so we need to regroup, get back to work, and hope we have the opportunity to play them again in May.”


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