Section: Lacrosse

Men’s lacrosse opens 2024 season in the snow, on the road

Despite snow piled up on the sides of the field on Saturday, the No. 22 Kenyon men’s lacrosse team kicked off its season with an electrifying home opener against Transylvania University (Ky.). The Owls came out swinging, beating the Pioneers 13-4 and tallying their first win of the 2024 season. Then, Kenyon traveled to face Baldwin Wallace University on Wednesday night and continued its undefeated season.

As the game began, the freezing temperature seemed to slow the first quarter down until Transylvania notched a goal with seven minutes to go in the quarter. In an email to the Collegian, midfielder David Lifson ’24, one of 12 seniors on the team, shared his thoughts on the first quarter. “There’s always some rust in our first game of the season, getting used to competing against someone else for the first time.”

Trailing by one goal late in the first quarter, the Owls looked to shake off that rust and tie the game. With 5:17 left in the period, a crisp goal from David Chintala ’26, who led the team in goals last year with 54, tied the score at one apiece. As the first quarter finally winded down, Kenyon went up 3-1 with a goal from Mike Kapral ’26 and another from Chintala off of an assist from Rowan Goldin ’24.

Transylvania came back at the start of the second quarter, netting a goal 20 seconds in and cutting the Kenyon lead down to one, but the Owls quickly answered with three more goals, two from Chintala and one from Gavin Gumucio ’26. As the game progressed into the third quarter, the Pioneers answered back, but this would be their last goal of the game as the Owls flexed their offensive muscles, scoring five consecutive goals in the third. Three of the five came from Chintala, one from Tucker Fulton ’24 and one from Chris Worton ’27. 

The Owls put the Pioneers to bed after two more goals in the fourth. Resident faceoff expert Thomas Nelson ’25 went 11-of-18 from the face-off circle, which led to the Owls out-shooting Transylvania 41-30 and helped secure the 13-4 victory. This opening victory marks the 11th straight season-opening win for the Owls.

In an email to the Collegian, Chintala described the team’s mentality going into the season: “As a team we are trying to improve on playing complete games. That means being able to string four strong quarters together without letting up at any point. We have so much talent this year across the board and I trust them to make plays when needed.” 

On Wednesday, Kenyon looked to get its first road win of the young season with a game against Baldwin Wallace. Rollins Heath ’25, who scored 21 goals and assists apiece last season, opened the scoring against the Yellow Jackets, before Baldwin Wallace responded with two quick goals. In what would prove to be a tightly contested game, the Owls and the Yellow Jackets continued to trade goals, and entered the second quarter tied 3-3. Kenyon’s two other first-quarter goals were scored by Gumucio and Chase MacCartee ’24. The red-hot Chintala added two more goals to his early season tally in the second period, but Kenyon entered halftime down 6-5.

Kenyon’s troubles only grew at the start of the third quarter, as Baldwin Wallace’s lead expanded to 8-5. But, the Owls fought back and showed tremendous grit, as goals from Heath, Henry Moderelli ’27 and Chintala helped tie the game up once more. Going into the last quarter tied 9-9, Chintala scored once more, his fifth of the game, to give the Owls a decisive lead. Heath scored once again to extend the lead, and Tanner Lewis ’27 capped off Kenyon’s night with the second goal of his collegiate career. At this point, Kenyon’s three-goal lead was too far for the Yellow Jackets to catch up to, as the Owls escaped with a 12-11 victory.The 2-0 Owls make the short journey to Columbus to face Capital University on Saturday, looking to preserve their perfect record. Goalie Adam Hall ’26, who has started both games so far, described his reaction to the recent victories in an email to the Collegian. “I am feeling overwhelmingly positive about the season,” he said. “We have a lot of new faces who are all looking to make an impact, but if we play up to our potential, we can follow our successes from last year!” Chintala is equally eager for the long road ahead of the men’s lacrosse team. “This season as a whole is going to be a huge test for us. We have high expectations and a tough non-conference schedule. … Early on the entire team has bought into our goals and we are excited for the opportunities in front of us.”

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