With an 8-7 lead, the Kenyon women’s lacrosse team had two strong defensive stands in the final two minutes to upset No. 14 University of Chicago (UChicago) (Ill.) on Sunday. The Owls are now 8-0 on the season and have earned a No. 23 ranking.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair between the teams. The Maroons led 3-2 after the opening frame, but at 8:17 of the second quarter, Caroline O’Neil ’23 completed the hat trick to tie the game. After the Owls and Maroons exchanged goals right before halftime, the score stood at 4-4.
Kenyon scored the only goal in the third quarter to take the lead heading into the fourth, and with 10:31 in the game, the Maroons tied the game at five. Kate Lengel ’24 scored two goals in the fourth, weaving her way around defenders before putting the ball in the back of the net. UChicago responded, scoring the next two goals to take a 7–6 advantage with under five minutes left. Lengel answered for the Owls, scoring her second goal of the frame to tie the game at seven.
With 2:12 left in the game, Mallory Brophy ’25 scored the game winner on a free-position shot, riffling the ball past the UChicago goalie. Immediately, though, she knew the Maroons would not go away quietly. “Although I was super excited to have scored, the first thing I said was that there was still a lot of time,” she wrote in an email to the Collegian. “Our team was very aware that we still had a lot of work to do in the last two minutes of the game and that UChicago was not going to give up before the final whistle blew.”
UChicago had two opportunities at the end of the fourth to try and send the game to overtime. The Owls’ defense stood strong like it had over the previous 58 minutes to deny the Maroons a game-tying tally. Brophy described the team as ready for no matter who won the draw. “We trusted that if we got the ball, our offense could possess, but we also knew that if we lost the draw, our defense was fully capable of holding the Maroons off,” she said. “Additionally, I know our whole team had complete faith in our incredible goalie, Nola [Garand ’25], to make another save if it came down to it.” Garand was called on to make one save in the final two minutes, and she was up to the task just like she had been all game long as she recorded 17 saves in the afternoon. For her efforts, she was named the USA Lacrosse Magazine’s Women NCAA Division III Player of the Week and NCAC Women’s Lacrosse Athlete of the Week.
Kenyon will celebrate senior day at home against Allegheny College (Pa.) on Saturday at 1 p.m. Brophy recognized Kenyon has found success against tough competition. “Although we are viewed as the underdogs by many people going into games like UChicago and SUNY Geneseo, we go in, work hard and get the job done,” she said. “We know what we are capable of and we are ready to keep working our way through [the] conference and up in the rankings.”
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