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Owls close Colorado campaign with a comeback win

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. —  The Kenyon College men’s lacrosse team’s undefeated start to the 2023 campaign continued after clinching a closely-contested victory against Colorado College (1-4). The Owls turned an early three-goal deficit into an eventual four-goal win, improving to 5-0 on the season with an 18-14 decision to close a two-game trip to Colorado Springs.

After two early Kenyon penalties, the Tigers blitzed the Owls with three goals in under three minutes to jump ahead 3-0 with 9:47 left in the opening period. The first two goals were scored while the Owls were down a man, but Kenyon bounced back after getting a man-up opportunity two minutes later. Rollins Heath drew the foul before Joe Boesel assisted Chase MacCartee on the Owls’ first goal.

The score helped Kenyon right the ship after the early onslaught, and the momentum shift helped the Owls tie the game with two back-to-back goals. Heath scored off an assist from Giuffre at the 2:54 mark, and after Thomas Nelson controlled the face-off, MacCartee assisted David Chintala’s equalizer 26 seconds later.

The teams traded goals late in the period as they remained tied through one quarter, and they traded goals again over the first three minutes of the second period. Kenyon took its first lead of the game after thwarting a Colorado clear attempt, and Giuffre turned his ground ball into a quick assist on another Chintala connection that put the Owls up 6-5.

A quick Tigers answer received an even speedier response as Nelson took his face-off win all the way for a score that put Kenyon back on top. After trading scores yet again, the Owls carried an 8-7 edge into the halftime break.

The scoring exchanges resumed three seconds into the second half when the Tigers scored right after winning the opening face-off. Colin McCarthy provided a Kenyon answer a little over a minute later. Rowan Goldin gave Kenyon its largest lead at 10-8, but Tigers goals on consecutive possessions knotted the score at 10-10.

Giuffre and Chintala put Kenyon up 12-10, but a man-up goal with seven seconds left helped Colorado pull within one going into the final quarter. The home team tied the game at 12-12, but McCarthy managed to keep Kenyon on top by scoring his third goal off an assist by Evan Bongers. Chintala helped Kenyon take advantage of a man-up opportunity, and he pushed the lead back to two, 14-12, with 9:32 remaining after a Heath helper.

Heath took it himself after an outlet from Finn Murray, and a goal with 7:19 on the clock gave the Owls their largest margin at 15-12. Bongers followed up another man-up goal by Chintala as Kenyon looked to be in complete control with a 17-12 advantage with 4:21 remaining, but the Owls had not trumped the Tigers just yet.

Colorado scored two man-up goals 25 seconds apart, cutting Kenyon’s lead to three with 1:47 on the clock. Playing a man down, the Owls locked down on defense and forced a turnover. Adam Hall, Kenyon’s keeper, iced the game with a near full-field shot that found an empty net and put the Owls up for good in the 18-14 victory.

Chintala finished with a game-high five goals to maintain his mantle as Kenyon’s leading scorer this season. McCarthy managed a fourth straight multi-goal game with a three-score effort, and MacCartee and Heath joined in with two scores apiece. Giuffre (3) broke a tie with McCarthy (2) to take over as the team’s assist leader, while Boesel, who ranks third in assists, also added a pair of dimes.

Up next for the Owls is a two-game road trip to Michigan. Kenyon is slated to take on Adrian College (2-3) at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15, before a matchup against Albion College (4-1) at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 19.

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