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Relentless Kenyon offense keeps rolling

MARIETTA, Ohio — Ranked No. 3 in a pair of national polls and ranked fifth in NCAA Division III with a scoring average of 4.17 goals per game, the Kenyon College men’s soccer team fortified those numbers Wednesday night with a 5-0 triumph against the Pioneers at Marietta College.
The Owls, now with a 7-0 record, have outscored their last four opponents 13-0.

The scoring started with some crafty Kenyon passing within the Marietta box. Scott Upton started the play down the left wing. When he had the opportunity, Upton passed to Sebastain Gaese at the top of the box. Gaese immediately returned the pass and then Upton delivered a cross to the right side where Mac Nardiello-Smith had a clear lane and buried his shot.

The Owls got a little assistance on their second goal, which occurred a little more than three minutes after the first. As Max Thesing worked the left side, he found room to whip a pass toward the mouth of the goal. A Kenyon player streaked by, trying to head the ball home, but missed. The miss threw a Marietta defender off balance and, in an attempt to clear the ball, it went off his shin and into the books as an own goal.

That left the Owls, who outshot the Pioneers, 9-2, in the half, with a 2-0 lead at the break.

In the second half, Kenyon tacked on three more goals in a span of 14 minutes. The first of those three came from Atli Hrafnkelsson, who headed a cross from Ben Lantz over the Pioneers’ goal line. Again, a little more than three minutes later, Kenyon scored. And again, it developed from the left side, where Eamon Dujakovich booted a low pass across the goal to Alem Duratovic, who tallied his team-leading eighth score of the season.

To cap things off, Kendin Basden came off the bench for Kenyon and scored the Owls’ fifth goal in spectacular fashion. Taking a free kick just a few yards outside of the penalty arc, Basden left-footed his attempt, bending it around the defensive wall and tucking it inside the Marietta right post for his first collegiate goal.

In the end, Kenyon had 24 shots to Marietta’s six and six corners to Marietta’s one.

Next up for the Owls will be a return home for a Saturday afternoon game against Case Western Reserve University.

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