On Wednesday, the No. 17 Kenyon men’s soccer team defeated the DePauw Tigers 3-1 in the conference semifinal to advance to the NCAC Tournament final this upcoming Saturday against Denison University.
In the first half, neither team could break the deadlock in what could only be described as a tense and edgy affair. The Tigers and the Owls each attempted four shots in the first 45 minutes, with only one shot on goal for both.
However, Kenyon opened the scoring just 34 seconds into the second half thanks to Eamon Dujakovich ’25. With the ball in the Owls’ half, Gerardo Martinez ’25 kickstarted a lightning-quick counterattack and ultimately drilled in a low cross into the box from the right wing that reached Dujakovich at the back post, who tapped home his 11th goal of the season. The Tigers pushed hard for an equalizer, but it was Kenyon who doubled its lead in the 71st minute. With a free kick deep in DePauw’s territory, Max Thesing ’24 whipped in a cross at a tight angle that bounced past every player in the box and past the Tigers’ goalkeeper, ending up in the back of the net to make it 2-0. With momentum on their side, the Owls scored their final goal three minutes later with a goal from Martinez. Repaying the favor from earlier in the game, Dujakovich found Martinez alone in the DePauw box, who lashed his shot into the top-left corner. The Tigers managed to spoil keeper Jack Pedreschi ’25’s clean sheet with a goal in the 79th minute, but it was too little, too late, as the Owls won their tenth straight game and advanced to their ninth consecutive Tournament Championship.
Up next, Kenyon (15-3, 8-0 NCAC) will face off against Denison, with its sights set on winning its first NCAC Tournament Championship since 2019. After falling to Ohio Wesleyan University last year and Denison in 2021, the Owls will look to clinch a spot in the NCAA Division III Tournament on Saturday at 12 p.m.