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Kenyon soars to No. 3 in the country

KANSAS CITY, Missouri — A week after jumping up nine spots to claim the No. 8 spot in the national Top 25 rankings, the Kenyon College men’s soccer team continued its upward climb to the No. 3 spot in the country.

The Owls are a perfect 6-0-0 on the season after extending their shutout streak to three straight with a two-win week. Kenyon outscored its opponents 8-0, starting with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Wilmington College before notching a 7-0 victory over Muskingum University, another road win.

The United Soccer Coaches, the NCAA’s official rankings organization, and D3soccer.com have Kenyon slotted in the No. 3 spot in their respective Top 25 polls. The University of Chicago (7-0-0) holds the No. 1 spot in each poll, while Messiah University (5-0-1) ranks second. The Stevens Institute Of Technology (6-0-1) shares the No. 3 spot with Kenyon in the United Soccer Coaches poll. Denison University (4-0-2) entered the rankings as the No. 16 team in the United Soccer Coaches poll and the 23rd-ranked team according to D3soccer.com, joining Kenyon as the North Coast Athletic Conference’s (NCAC) only Top 25 representatives.

The last time the Owls were ranked within the top three was week seven of the 2019 campaign, as D3soccer.com had Kenyon ranked third. Before 2019, Kenyon was ranked No. 2 by the D3soccer.com poll during the second, third, and fourth weeks of the 2016 season. Also, that same season (2016), the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (now United Soccer Coaches) had Kenyon ranked at No. 2 for the second and third weeks. If Kenyon continues to ascend the rankings, it could match a program-best No. 1 ranking that has been achieved on several occasions.

The Owls have a plus-20 goal differential through six games, outscoring their opponents 25-5, and Kenyon’s 4.17 goals per game rank fourth in the NCAA DIII. Sophomore Alem Duratovic leads the Owls with seven goals and 15 points. Scott Upton, a senior, has notched 13 points on six goals and one assist, while senior Sebastian Gaese has 10 points on four goals and a team-high two assists. Sophomore goalkeeper Jack Pedreschi has notched all six wins in goal for the Owls. Pedreschi holds a 0.80 goals against average and a .765 save percentage with 36 saves. Kenyon’s defense has secured three consecutive shutouts while holding opponents to 0.83 goals and 7.3 shots per game overall.

Kenyon is scheduled to play two non-conference matches before starting its NCAC slate. The Owls conclude a six-game road trip against Marietta College on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m. before hosting Case Western Reserve University on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 3:30 p.m. over Kenyon’s homecoming weekend. The Owls then open NCAC play a week later at home on Mavec Field against The College of Wooster on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 3:30 p.m.

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