The Kenyon men’s lacrosse team rallied to stun No. 12 Denison University 14-13 on Saturday at the Field at the Benson Bowl. It was the program’s second win in 16 tries against Denison. Kenyon is now 1-1 in conference play and 8-1 overall.
The score remained close in the first half, with Kenyon ending the opening quarter down 3-2. In the second quarter, the Owls killed off a three-minute man-down situation to keep the score at 5-3. Attacker Rollins Heath ’25 praised the defense in an email to the Collegian. “Killing that three-minute penalty was one of the most important moments of the game, and the defense brought life to our team and put momentum on our side,” he said. Over the last five minutes in the second frame, each team tacked on two goals to enter halftime with Denison leading 7-5.
In the third quarter, it looked like the Big Red were going to cruise to victory after taking a 10-5 lead with 20 minutes left in the game. Then Denison committed a two-minute unnecessary roughness penalty. Kenyon scored three goals during that span, then added on two more in quick succession to tie the game at 10. With 10 seconds left in the third, the Big Red scored to take a 11-10 lead into the final frame.
Denison scored the first two goals of the fourth quarter to lead 13-10. “Going down three in the fourth quarter was a tough spot to be in, but in some ways exactly where we wanted to be,” Heath said. The Owls scored on back-to-back possessions to cut the Big Red’s lead to one. With 1:12 left in the game, Kenyon tied the game up on an acrobatic goal by Heath. “It was great to be the final touch on that 13th goal, but a lot came before it to get me that ball, and the effort of my teammates should not be taken for granted,” he said. Less than a minute later, David Chintala ’26 intercepted a pass and scored the game winner on a breakaway goal. The Big Red won the faceoff but could not score a goal in the final 22 seconds. The final score was 14-13.
In the game, Heath had a career high and led the team in three categories: goals (4), points (6) and ground balls (5). He was named NCAC Men’s Lacrosse Athlete of the Week for his efforts. “It was fun to get the athlete of the week after that game,” Heath said. “I was just so excited to be a part of a historic win that’s been on the top of all of our minds for a while.”
The Owls will celebrate Senior Day next Saturday against DePauw University. “We know that although this was a historic win for us, we are chasing something greater than a regular season win,” Heath said. “Saturday set a standard for the way we need to play and prepare against every opponent for the rest of this season. … Everything we do now is put towards playing our best lacrosse in May.”Even Acting President Jeff Bowman appreciated the game, writing in an email to the Collegian: “It was one of the most thrilling and satisfying contests the Benson Bowl has ever witnessed!”
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the Owls all-time record against Denison. Kenyon’s mens lacrosse team previously beat Denison in 2006.