Men: The Kenyon men’s soccer team improved to 5-2-0 this past week with home wins against Mount Aloysius College (Pa.) and Marietta College. The Owls have now won five games in a row after dropping the first two of the 2023 season.
On Saturday, Kenyon defeated Mount Aloysius, a participant in the 2022 NCAA Division III Tournament, 2-1 in an intense game with tensions riding high on both sides. Both goals came from forward Joaquin Sanchez-Korenfeld ’26, with the first assisted by defender Benjamin Lantz ’24. The goals from Sanchez-Korenfeld were his first as an Owl, after he picked up a pair of assists in the last game against Wilmington.
Then, on Wednesday, the Owls dispatched Marietta 4-0, with the first two goals coming within the opening four minutes of the contest. Midfielder Eamon Dujakovich ’25 scored the first two goals, his first coming from a corner taken by Aidan Burns ’24. Then 44 seconds later, Alem Duratovic ’25 found Dujakovich on the right wing, who raced behind the Marietta back line and coolly scored his third goal of the season. The Owls were hardly tested defensively and added a third and fourth goal in the second half. In the 79th minute, Pablo Portillo ’27 scored his first Kenyon goal after a careless mistake by the Marietta defense. Finally, Duratovic, assisted by Isaac Cortez ’26, completed a slaloming run into the box and slotted the ball into the bottom right corner.
With the win streak at five games, forward Miko Warshaw ’26, who scored the first goal of his collegiate career last week, is certain that the team has moved past their early-season struggles and has been playing with a new energy as of late. “We wanted to come out and show that we are still Kenyon Men’s Soccer and deserve the respect that this program has earned over the past years,” he wrote in an email to the Collegian. “We had big holes to fill in our team both on and off the field and I think it took us getting shocked that first weekend for all of us to step up and start to fill them as a unit. I give credit to our seniors and captains for organizing some team meetings where we really have come together and asked ourselves who we want to be as a team.”
After giving up eight goals through the first two games, the Owls defense has stepped up in a major way, only allowing two goals in the previous five games. A big part of that success has been due to the play of defender Matt Nguyen ’26, one of only four players to start all seven games in 2023. Nguyen, one of the returning starters from the team that went to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament last season, wrote about this year’s squad and recent turn of events in an email to the Collegian: “I think that we all started to work as a team again. With so much change happening this year, I think we all lost sight of what was important and we finally found it again.”
The Owls have also seen a major uptick in home games this season, which Nguyen believes is important for building momentum going forward. “I think that the biggest change from last year other than personnel and the coach staff would have to be the amount of home games we have,” he said. “Home games are such an advantage and we got super lucky this year!” The team’s 12 regular season home games this season are double the six that they had in the 2022 regular season. Recently, Mavec Field has been kind to the Owls, as they went 6-0 at home in the regular season in 2022 and are 4-1 this year.
Looking ahead, Kenyon has two more non-conference opponents, their first being Trine University (Ind.) on Saturday at home, before opening up NCAC play at DePauw University on Sep. 30. When asked on how the team can continue their success, Nguyen simply said, “Focus on one game at a time.”
Women: The Kenyon women’s soccer team, who entered the week undefeated, drew with Hanover College (Ind.) at home before finally falling for the first time this season to Capital University 3-1. The Owls sit at 3-1-3, with two non-conference games to go before NCAC play begins.
On Saturday, Kenyon took on the Hanover Panthers in the team’s first annual Morgan’s Message – Mental Health Awareness match. Although Kenyon hoped to notch its first win against Hanover since September 2011, it was not to be. The Owls held the Panthers to a 0-0 draw at Mavec Field, as both teams could not find the back of the net. Hanover outshot Kenyon 22-7 across the 90 minutes and the Panthers forced keeper Ariel Kite ’27 to make six saves.
Three days later, the Owls traveled to Columbus, Ohio, to face off against Capital University, ultimately dropping the game 3-1. Kenyon had a slight advantage for most of the first half. The Owls were outshot 8-7, but had five corners to the Comets’ zero. However, with less than five minutes left in the first half, Capital struck twice to take a 2-0 lead, leaving Kenyon stunned at half time. The Owls battled back, and halved their deficit with about thirty minutes to go. Hailey Moss ’25 got her second goal of the season, as she pounced on the rebound from Sadie Gould ’24’s shot, which struck the crossbar. But in the 70th minute, Kenyon conceded its third and final goal of the game, sealing its first loss of the season. Despite their 10 shots on target, the Owls could not capitalize on their chances.
Kenyon will look to get back to winning ways against Marietta College at home on Saturday. The game, which will begin at 1 p.m., will honor the program’s seniors and alumni.