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Owls settle for draw in wild one at Wittenberg

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — After a fairly ordinary and evenly-played first half, Wednesday night’s North Coast Athletic Conference women’s soccer game between Kenyon College and host Wittenberg University saw plenty of second-half fireworks before the two teams settled on a 3-3 draw.

Kenyon struck first with a goal off a free kick from the right side just 7:26 from the start. Morgan Baker sent in the kick and put it on net from about 30 yards out. Wittenberg goalkeeper Lily Winkle appeared to have control of Baker’s shot at first, but as she turned, the ball slipped out of her hands and across the goal line.

Wittenberg then evened things up in the game’s 23rd minute. Off a corner kick, a shot from Paige Kaiser hit the crossbar and ricocheted back to Brooke Mullis, who had sent in the corner. Mullis then lofted a pass into the center of the box, where Leah Rocchetta headed it past Kenyon goalkeeper Gabi Pesticci.
Kenyon had a slim 9-7 advantage in shots at the half and the score stayed 1-1 going into the break.

When the teams returned to the field, they traded punches early and often. Less than five minutes into the second half, a crossing pass from Eva Otey slipped past all home white jerseys, but somehow managed to find the back corner of the Kenyon goal for a 2-1 Tigers’ lead.

Just 70 seconds later, the Owls responded. A crossing pass from the left side was misplayed, but Elyse Judge charged up from the midfield and punted the loose ball past Winkle, who was out of position trying to track the initial Kenyon pass.

Wittenberg then regained the lead off a free kick in the game’s 55th minute. The kick, sent in by Brooke Mullis was on target. Pesticci made the save, but the rebound came to Hannah Heald, who was standing on the doorstep to put Tigers ahead, once again.

About seven minutes later, Kenyon forced the game’s third tie. A free kick straight up the middle of the field left a cluster of players going after it. The ball, however, fell right to the feet of Kayla Arone, who fired it into the lower right corner of the Tigers’ frame.

Jackie Thompson was credited with the assist on Arone’s goal, while Hailey Moss earned the assist on Judge’s goal.

Over the last 20 minutes of play, both teams adjusted to the outburst and focused on locking things down defensively. Kenyon had just two shots the rest of the way, while Wittenberg tallied four to bring the final count to 14 shots apiece.

The tie moved Kenyon’s overall record to 5-2-5 and its NCAC mark to 0-1-1. The result made Wittenberg 2-6-5 overall and also 0-1-1 in conference action.

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