For the sixth straight season and the 15th time in program history, Kenyon’s men’s soccer team earned a berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament, racking up a total season record of 18-1-3 before falling to Case Western Reserve University at a third-round game in Cleveland on Friday, Nov. 16. Despite keeping the score tied at 2-2 through overtime, the team came up one goal short in a penalty kick shootout, allowing Case Western to advance.
The Lords jumped into the bracket of 62 teams starting Saturday, Nov. 10, with a first-round home game, played against the Maryville College Scots and resulting in a 3-0 victory for the home team. Maryville, an unranked squad, brought to Mavec Field a 14-3-1 record. The only previous meeting between the two teams occurred in a 2016 NCAA Tournament first-round game in which the Lords cruised to another 3-0 victory.
After Kenyon’s game with Maryville, Carnegie Mellon University and Centre College squared off in another first-round game, ending with Carnegie Mellon victorious. On Sunday, Nov. 11, the Lords dispatched Carnegie Mellon in the second round, with a 2-1 win in overtime.
To get to the tournament, the Lords completed a regular-season schedule that ended with a 14-1-2 record. The campaign kicked off with a lopsided 4-0 victory against No. 24-ranked John Carroll University. Following that game, the Lords settled on a 1-1 draw with Carnegie Mellon.
A six-game win streak ensued. It was not until Sept. 26 that Kenyon dropped its first and only result, a 3-0 loss at Case Western. After that, the Lords put together a 10-game unbeaten streak, one comprised of nine wins and a 1-1 tie with No. 22-ranked Ohio Wesleyan University.
Kenyon’s 8-0-1 mark within North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) play resulted in a fourth straight regular-season conference crown. It also extended the Lords’ unbeaten streak to 25 consecutive NCAC regular-season games, dating back to the middle of the 2016 season.
The Lords then marched into the four-team NCAC postseason tournament in search of two more wins and the conference’s automatic berth into the national tournament. The first of those wins came against Wabash College in a home semifinal game, which ended in dramatic fashion as Kenyon scored the game-winner with one second remaining in the second overtime period.
That brought about an NCAC championship rematch with Ohio Wesleyan, but it didn’t bring about any more drama. The Lords scored early and often, blowing out OWU, 4-0, to claim their fourth NCAC Tournament title in the past five years.