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Owls secure shutout in final non-conference test

NEW CONCORD, Ohio — The Kenyon College women’s soccer team picked up a shutout win in its final non-conference match, besting Muskingum University (2-4-3) with a 1-0 win on the road.

The Owls were aggressive early, taking two shots in the first seven minutes, including an on-target attempt by first-year Jenna Michel at the 6:19 mark. Kenyon added two corner kicks and another shot before Muskingum’s first attempt at the 17:36 mark, but the game remained scoreless through 21 minutes.

That all changed six seconds into the 22nd minute after Kenyon earned a third corner kick. Morgan Baker, a sophomore, took the kick and played the ball across the face of the goal, finding senior Sadie Gould for a leaping header that angled past the Muskie keeper to put the Owls ahead 1-0.

The duo of Baker and Michel nearly duplicated the corner-to-header connection in the 35th minute, but the shot sailed wide. Through 45 minutes, the score remained 1-0 as Kenyon out-shot Muskingum 9-2 and held a 6-1 edge in corner kicks. The Owls’ offense put three shots on goal while a solid defensive effort kept the Muskies from putting an attempt on target.

Kenyon kept applying pressure early in the second half, taking the half’s first 12 shots and earning three corner kicks before allowing Muskingum to orchestrate a substantial attack. One of Kenyon’s most dangerous stretches came between the 70th and 72nd minutes, when Baker and Elyse Judge, a sophomore, put shots on goal that Muskingum’s Kelly Buck saved.

The Muskies’ first threat came from a counterattack in the 73rd minute. The home team pushed down the field and took its first shot of the half, but the Owls’ defense blocked the attempt. The shot led to a corner kick, but the ball was headed away to extinguish the attack.

Owls supporters had to hold their breath at the 77:09 mark when a deflected ball bounced freely into the middle of the pitch just outside of Kenyon’s box. A Muskie player corralled the carom and ripped an open shot toward the goal, but senior keeper Leah Anderson scooped up the shot to secure a save on Muskingum’s first on-goal attempt.

Kenyon’s offense responded with a stretch of just over three and a half minutes, including three corner kicks and three shots on goal, but the 1-0 margin persisted. Fortunately for the Owls, their 1-0 lead was held through full time, giving them an impressive win that saw Kenyon out-shoot Muskingum 25-6, including a 10-2 advantage in shots on goal. Additionally, Kenyon earned 12 corner kicks while allowing just two.

Anderson finished with two saves and paired with the Kenyon defense to secure the Owls’ first shutout. Gould and Talulla Sheridan, a sophomore, each tallied five shots and two shots on goal, while first-years Michel and Kayla Arone had four shots apiece. Michel notched a team-high three shots on goal.

Up next, the Owls (2-4-3) are set to take on their first North Coast Athletic Conference opponent at home on Saturday, Oct. 8. Kenton hosts Ohio Wesleyan University (6-1-2) at 1 p.m. on Mavec Field in Gambier, Ohio.

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