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Battling Bishops break through late to down Owls

ELAWARE, Ohio — The Kenyon College women’s soccer team traveled to Delaware, Ohio, to take on the Battling Bishops of Ohio Wesleyan University on Tuesday night, but the Owls could not come away with a win as a late goal helped the home team secure a 1-0 victory in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) contest.

The Battling Bishops were in the driver’s seat in the first half, but the Owls held up against the pressure. OWU outshot Kenyon by 10, a 14-4 margin, with a 7-2 edge in shots on goal over the first 45 minutes. However, Gabi Pesticci proved up to the task, securing seven saves to keep a clean slate.

The junior goalkeeper garnered 10 saves by the game’s end, doubling her career high of five set in the season’s first game. Pesticci and the Owls turned away OWU’s first 22 shots and 10 shots on goal, but a look in the 77th minute was the difference in the game.

It took the Battling Bishops 15 seconds to flip the field and play the ball from their goalie, Natalie Ryan, to the back of Kenyon’s net. Ryan booted the ball to midfield to find Ali Claus, who made a long pass to Caroline Thomas in the corner. From there, Thomas’ cross sailed over an OWU player on the near side that the Owls defense had doubled, only to find Maya Burlingame sneaking behind the far side of the defense. Burlingame needed just one touch to fire the ball into the top left corner of the net before Pesticci could flip to the other side of the goal and intercept the attempt.

Needing to earn an equalizer quickly, the Owls took seven of the game’s final eight shots over the last 13 minutes, including the final five. Unfortunately for Kenyon, Ryan secured saves on the Owls’ two on-target shots, and OWU blocked the other five looks.

Eun Hae Lillig led Kenyon with a game-high six shots, but just four of the team’s 13 shots were on goal as four Owls each put one attempt on the mark.

The loss drops Kenyon’s record to 6-3-5 overall, and the defending NCAC champions are 1-2-1 against conference foes. Ohio Wesleyan’s win boosts their record to 8-5-2 and 3-1-0 in the NCAC.

Up next, the Owls travel to Greencastle, Indiana, to duel DePauw University at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 21.

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