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Late goal from Ephs ends Owls’ postseason run

GAMBIER, Ohio — Vying for a spot in the NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Tournament semifinal round, the Kenyon College Owls and Williams College Ephs locked up in a defensive battle Sunday at Mavec Field. Williams, however, found a way to squeak in a late goal and held on for a 1-0 quarterfinal victory.

The result ended Kenyon’s season with an overall record of 19-2-1. The Owls were making their 18th overall and ninth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament and were on the verge of chalking up a third semifinal showing in program history.

Sunday’s game saw a total of just 16 shots taken and only six of those being on goal. Kenyon managed 10 shots with two on goal, while Williams needed just six shots, four on goal, to earn the victory.

The game-winning score crossed the Kenyon goal line with just 7:37 left in the contest. The play developed off a long Williams free kick from the other side of the field. The kick went into the Kenyon box, where the Owls managed to clear it.

Williams then tracked the ball down and lobbed a pass back into the Kenyon defensive zone, just short of the box. From there, Nick Boardman flicked the ball forward off his head. The ball took a couple bounces toward the left post before David Wang tapped it into the net.

Aside from the goal, neither team had more than a few legitimate chances to score through the duration of the game.

Kenyon’s best opportunities both occurred in the second half. About five minutes in, Scott Upton charged into the Williams’ box, took a Gerardo Martinez pass and delivered a left-footed shot that beat the goalkeeper. As the ball neared the goal line, however, Boardman quickly rushed over and booted it out of play.

The next-best chance for Kenyon came in the game’s 85th minute. Off a throw-in from the right side, the ball got kicked around in the Williams box and made its way to Upton. He fired from about six yards out, but the ball was blocked on a questionable, uncalled handball by a defensive player.

That was Kenyon’s last shot of the game, as Williams did its best to burn off the final five minutes. 

With the win, the Ephs improved to 9-1-11 and will advance to take on University of Mary Washington in the NCAA Tournament semifinal round.

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