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Comeback falls short as Owls record first loss

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Kenyon College women’s soccer team recorded their first loss of the season on Tuesday night in Columbus to the Capital University Comets, losing 3-1.

Coming off of three ties in the team’s last four games, Kenyon entered the game looking for its fourth win of the season against a Capital team that it had not seen since the 2019 season, with the Comets taking the previous five games. 

The game began and both teams traded chances early in the half. Once in the eighth minute and again in the tenth, Capital had good chances to score, but with the first too high and the second with a little help from the left post, both shots stayed out. 

Kenyon responded with a great chance of its own about seven minutes later, when Victoria Hannaford fired a shot from above that box, stopped by Capital’s Liv Alford. The Owls backed up that chance with another series of shots from Morgan Baker and Sadie Gould, all corralled by Alford. 

Towards the end of the half, Capital broke through, as Grace Estes ran through two Kenyon defenders to field a long upfield cross from Tori Kittrell and lofted the ball high and over Ariel Kite and into the net, making it 1-0 Comets with 4:20 left in the half. 

Capital was not done, however. Two minutes later, Nicole Ogden sent a cross-field bending ball to Lexi Snider, who made a quick move and popped the ball over Kite in close-quarters, extending the team’s lead to two headed into the half. 

Despite the two late goals, the first half was very close, with Kenyon holding a 5-0 corner advantage and trailing in shots 7-8. Alford made six saves in the first for the Comets, while Kite made one. 

Kenyon came out of the half looking to make a comeback, registering four shots within the first ten minutes of the second. Finally, in the game’s 58th minute, the Owls were able to get one past the Comets goalkeeper, as a rocket from the top of the box off the left foot of Sadie Gould hit the crossbar and bounced right to Hailey Moss, who was able to bury the rebound and cut the Capital lead in half with over 30 minutes to play. 

After the goal, Capital came back with a fire to restore their two-goal-lead, sending three unanswered shots just wide of the net. Then in the 69th minute, Taylor Marcum lined up for a free kick from the far side of the field and sent a lofted cross to a leaping Sophia Leonetti, who headed the ball through tight coverage and past Kite to once again make the Comets lead two.

The Owls scrambled to get the ball to the net in the game’s final minutes, but the effort was not enough to score, as the Comets defense closed the door and the game ended 3-1. 

Offensively, the Owls outshot the Comets 16-15 and had a 7-0 corner advantage. Gould, Baker, and Moss paced the team tonight with three shots apiece. In net, Kite had two saves. 

The loss is Kenyon’s first of the season, dropping its record to 3-1-3. The Owls will stay at home for the next two games, the first of which takes place on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. when the team will face Marietta College and celebrate Senior and Alumni Day in Gambier. 

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