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Owls prevail in defensive struggle with Earlham

GAMBIER, Ohio — In a game that witnessed a total of just 11 shots, the Kenyon College field hockey team managed Sunday to register a 1-0 conference victory against Earlham College Quakers and halt a brief two-game skid. 

The victory on The Field at Benson Bowl bumped Kenyon’s record to 6-5 overall and 1-2 within North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) play. On the other side of the field, Earlham dropped to 0-12 overall and 0-2 in NCAC play.

While offense was at a premium, Kenyon managed to generate, in the fourth quarter, the only goal it would need. 

Three previous quarters of stalemate gave the Owls a sense of urgency, as they charged the Quakers’ zone early in the fourth. A little more than four minutes into the quarter, Grace Lane picked off an Earlham clearing attempt and pushed the ball over to the right wing, where Kiersten Hoffmann was standing. Hoffmann worked around a defender on the right side, moved within close range and buried her shot past goalkeeper Rachel Alma and into the lower left corner of the cage.

The goal was Hoffmann’s second in as many days and tied her for the team lead with three on the season. 

From there, the Kenyon defense did the rest of the work, allowing just two Earlham shots over the final two quarters. In all, Kenyon outshot Earlham, 8-3.

Back in the first half of play, the momentum wavered. Earlham came out strong at the start, earning a couple penalty corners, but not getting off a clear shot. Kenyon retaliated later in the first quarter, controlling possession, racking up three consecutive corners and producing two shots on goal, both saved by Alma.

The second quarter was back-and-forth, as well, but most of it at midfield. Over the course of that 15-minute session, Kenyon didn’t get a shot, while Earlham got one that was steered aside by Kenyon keeper Megan Lydon.
In the third quarter, Kenyon registered the only shot, but it was a back-handed swing that went well wide of the Quakers cage.

Lydon needed to make only two saves to record her first complete shutout of the season.

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