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Owls keep postseason in play with shutout win

OBERLIN, Ohio — In the team’s last North Coast Athletic Conference bout, Kenyon secured a 3-0 shutout win on the road against Oberlin College (4-11, 1-6 NCAC). The Owls finish the conference slate with a 4-4 record, keeping their postseason hopes alive as they currently hold the final spot.

The Owls imposed their will early, and their offense was in the driver’s seat for the first two quarters. Kenyon made a big push in the third minute, taking three on-target shots and a penalty corner in 11 seconds. However, neither Grace Lane nor Kiersten Hoffmann could secure a goal after two goalie saves and a defensive save.

Kenyon finished the opening period with five shots, including four on-goal, and four penalty corners, while holding Oberlin to none. It was more of the same in quarters two and three as the Owls racked up advantages of 11-0, 8-0, and 7-0 in shots, shots on goal, and corners, respectively. 

Controlling the offensive narrative paid off early in the second frame. In the 19th minute, Lana Stone, a first-year, collected a bouncing ball deep in Oberlin territory before playing a ball toward the front of the goal, where Bella Kern, a senior, knocked in her seventh goal of the season. 

After nearly two quarters of scoreless play, the Owls doubled their lead to 2-0 with a goal in the 44th minute, just before the third quarter ended. Sophomore Grace Lane got set at the top of the circle after a pass from Lydia Turk, a senior, and Lane launched a hard shot that found an open lane into Hoffmann, who deflected the ball straight into the back of the goal.

Kenyon kept living life in the fast Lane when the sophomore added a second goal and put the visitors ahead 3-0 in the 53rd minute. Lane took possession about 20 yards out before slicing and dicing her way through the Yeowomen’s defense on the left side. No one stopped her or the ball before it settled in the back of the goal for the game’s final score. 

Lane, Hoffmann, and Kern fittingly led the Owls as the trio leads the team in scoring this season. Land and Hoffmann maintained their tie for second-most goals on the team with five apiece, sitting behind only Kern’s team-leading seven scores.

Overall, Kenyon finished with 16 shots, 13 shots on goal, and 12 penalty corners. While the offensive output is notable, Kenyon’s lockdown defense deserves praise for securing a second straight shutout win. The Owls finished their NCAC slate by outscoring their opponents 8-0 over the final conference contests. 

After going 3-1 against NCAC foes to end the conference’s regular season, Kenyon’s hopes of earning an NCAC Tournament berth are alive and well. The Owls are 4-4 in the conference and possess the fourth and final tournament spot right now. The two teams behind Kenyon are Allegheny College (12-4, 3-3 NCAC) and Wittenberg University (7-7, 3-3 NCAC). Both opponents have two games left, including a matchup against one another. Kenyon owns a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Tigers, but the Gators hold the edge over the Owls in the event of a tie after winning the head-to-head matchup.

While the team awaits its postseason fate, the Owls take a road trip to Danville, Kentucky, to take on Centre College (7-6, 3-1 SAA) over the weekend. The match is scheduled for noon on Saturday, Oct. 29, and will be Kenyon’s last regular-season contest.

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