Kenyon Women’s Lacrosse Pulls Away Late in Battle of the Owls

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — On Friday, the Kenyon College and Westfield State University women’s lacrosse teams squared off in a rare Owls versus Owls matchup. The Kenyon Owls ousted the Westfield State Owls 14-10, closing Kenyon’s time at the Spring Fling Tournament and the College’s spring break slate.

Kenyon, who got back to .500 and bounced back from a tough loss, improved to 3-3 this season. On the other side, WSU fell to 3-2 after winning three straight to start the season. The back-and-forth game saw each team mount streaks of two and five straight goals, but Kenyon started strong and pulled away by mixing in a pair of three-goal runs.

The Ohio-based Owls came out hot, opening the game with two scores in the first 62 seconds. Mallory Brophy won the opening draw control before assisting a Maddie Garner goal, and Kenyon doubled back and doubled up just 20 seconds later after Ali Hatfield found the back of the net. WSU answered quickly to cut the score to 2-1, but Kenyon twice reclaimed its two-goal lead to finish the first frame ahead 4-2.

Kenyon started the second quarter in a nearly identical fashion to the first, scoring two quick goals after winning the first two draws. Brophy assisted Ella Rigoli before Lily Mason scored on a pass from Kate Lengel, putting Kenyon up 6-2.

However, the Massachusetts-based Owls were far from finished. WSU survived a man-down situation before getting back on the board following a free position shot. The team scored twice more in the quarter, including another free position goal, to cut Kenyon’s lead to 6-5 at the half. Westfield State maintained momentum coming out of the locker room, scoring two goals in the first 87 seconds of the second stanza to go up 7-6 after five unanswered goals.

Bridgette Cassidy helped Kenyon battle back with an equalizer a few minutes later, sparking a 3-0 run. Westfield State stopped the scoring streak late in the quarter before a near-immediate Kenyon answer that put them up 10-8 through three.

Kenyon pulled away with four unanswered goals to start the fourth frame, extending their run to five straight goals and eight of the game’s last nine. Lengel went back-to-back in quick succession to open the quarter, and goals by Blythe Karras and Hatfield pushed Kenyon’s edge to 14-8. Kenyon’s defense was locked in on the other side, holding WSU without a shot for over 10 minutes until they scored a couple of late goals to bring the final margin to 14-10.

Kenyon outshot Westfield State 30-23, including 9-2 in the fourth quarter, and had six more shots on goal. Both teams scored on half of their free position shots, but WSU had many more opportunities as they were 4-for-9 compared to Kenyon’s 1-for-2 mark. 

Five Kenyon Owls scored three points apiece. Hatfield had a team-high three goals, while Karras, Lengel, Mason, and Rigoli each had two goals and one assist. Spencer Kirsch’s four draw controls tied Garner for the game-high, her three ground balls tied Karras for the team lead, and her two caused turnovers matched Lauren Gilbert for a team-best.

After a five-game road trip, Kenyon heads home for two straight games in Gambier. The team will host the University of Mount Union on Tuesday, March 19, and Christopher Newport University on Sunday, March 31.

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