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Kenyon battles to scoreless draw with conference rival

DELAWARE, Ohio — After a slow start to Tuesday’s conference clash at Ohio Wesleyan University, the No. 3/4-ranked Kenyon College men’s soccer team cranked up the offensive pressure in the second half. The Owls, however, couldn’t get one into the net and settled for a scoreless tie with the host Battling Bishops.
The draw moved Kenyon’s overall record to 9-0-1 and its North Coast Athletic Conference mark to 1-0-1, while Ohio Wesleyan went to 3-4-3 overall and 1-0-1 in conference action.

The Battling Bishops controlled the tone in the early going, racking up nine first-half shots to Kenyon’s three. Aidan Burns logged two of those three Kenyon shots, with one that drifted wide in the 15th minute and the other resulting in an easy save after a long free kick in the 22nd minute.

Ohio Wesleyan threatened a couple times, but Kenyon goalkeeper Jack Pedreschi had four saves to keep things scoreless.

After the intermission, Kenyon had one of its best chances. Following an Ohio Wesleyan yellow card just 43 seconds from the restart, Kenyon senior Mac Nardiello-Smith fired a well-struck shot from outside the box. The ball was headed a bit inside the right post, but Ohio Wesleyan goalkeeper Mason Taylor made a diving save. 

About 11 minutes later, following another Ohio Wesleyan yellow card, Burns took the free kick for Kenyon, but his shot zipped just inches over the crossbar.

The Owls possessed from a majority of the final 45 and continued to pepper the Battling Bishops goal, however, no serious threats were made and Taylor, who only needed to make one save in the first half, made four more in the second.

Kenyon blitzed Ohio Wesleyan with a 16-1 advantage in shots during the second half, but the Battling Bishop weather the storm.

Following a couple decent chances in the first half, Ohio Wesleyan had a golden opportunity slip by in the game’s 80th minute, as Jaggar Brooker slipped through the defense, caught Pedreschi off guard and sliced his shot just wide of the right post.

Kenyon now turns its attention to Wabash College, where it will play its next conference contest against the host Little Giants on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m.

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