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Martens buries last-second winner for the Owls

WOOSTER, Ohio – Newly designated as the No. 25 ranked team in the United Soccer Coaches Division III poll, the Kenyon College men’s soccer team (10-3) traveled an hour north to take on The College of Wooster Fighting Scots (4-6-3). Despite an early second-half lead from Wooster, two goals in the final ten minutes of play from Alem Duratovic and Joey Martens sent the Owls home a winner 2-1.

The game winner from Martens came with just 10 seconds remaining in the match with the score tied 1-1, as he leapt in the air and headed a ball past the charging Wooster keeper off of a cross from Aidan Burns.

This afternoon’s deciding goal was Martens’ second in as many matches, again playing the hero last Saturday night against the Denison University Big Red. The goal is his fourth of the season and sets him tied for second on the team. 

In the first half, Kenyon had an early advantage, registering shots from Martens and Duratovic to challenge Wooster goalkeeper Drew Beazly. Perhaps the best chance in the half came from Eamon Dujakovich in the 34th minute, fresh off of a NCAC Offensive Athlete of the Week honor, who headed a loose ball in fron the the cage that thumped hard off the crossbar to keep the 0-0 score. 

The Owls outshot the Fighting Scots 7-6 for the half, and had a 5-1 corner kick advantage. Martens and Dujakovich each had two shots to lead the team, while Jack Pedreschi made two saves as neither team found the net. 

Early in the second however, Wooster broke through for the first goal of the game, as Moody Saadi muscled through the Kenyon defense and sent a ball past Pedreschi to give the Fighting Scots the lead. For most of the half, the Owls had consistent pressure and the defense held strong with Pedreschi adding another nice save, but the team couldn’t find the net. However, as the match moved into the final ten minutes, Kenyon made its’ charge. 

In the 82nd minute, after a foul at the top of the box committed by Wooster, Duratovic sent a right-footed rocket just over the right shoulder of the last man in the Scots defensive wall, bouncing in the left side of the goal to tie the game at one apiece. 

After Duratovic’s goal, his team-high ninth of the season, Wooster struggled to clear the ball from its defensive zone, giving up several turnovers leading to more shot chances from Kenyon, with Dujakovich’s nearly missing the left post in the 86th minute. The Owls’ stayed poised as its relentless pressure and sound ball movement led to the corner in the 90th minute that ultimately won the game. 

With the win, Kenyon notches its tenth victory of the season, tying a season-high five straight wins to move to 10-3 overall and 4-0 in NCAC play. The Owls return to Gambier on Saturday at 1:00 pm for another NCAC faceoff against the Hiram College Terriers.

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