According to players and coaches alike, Kenyon College was not the better team. In fact, sophomore forward Elizabeth Seewer summed up DePauw’s 1-0 loss Saturday at Reavis Stadium against the Ladies in one sentence: “We should have won.”
“We had the majority of control and more dangerous chances than they did,” DePauw head coach Megan McCormick said. “With the shots we took and the times we got in behind their back line, we just had to do a better job of finishing.”
Kenyon’s only goal came in just the fifth minute of the game on a free kick, where junior defender Marie Laube connected with sophomore forward Maggie Smith for her second goal of the season.
The final 85 minutes proved to be a scoreless duel between the Tigers (2-5-1, 0-1-1) and Ladies (4-5-1, 1-0), with DePauw’s junior goalkeeper Sarah Cho tallying seven saves.
“Kenyon was one of the more technical teams we played so far this season,” Cho said. “Their defense knew how to take some of our chances away, but they weren’t always successful.
This was Cho’s first full game as goalkeeper, having replaced senior Emma Cooper last weekend during the Tiger’s game against Hiram College when Cooper left due to a head injury.
“She [Cho] played big minutes against Kenyon… and helped give us an opportunity to win the game,” McCormick said. “It’s one of those thankless jobs when you’re not always the starting goalkeeper. There’s a tremendous amount of pressure.”
On offense, the Tigers only managed seven shots, with two of them being on goal, while Kenyon took 13 shots, eight of them on goal. However, the Tigers seemed to have more opportunities to put the ball in the back of the net.
“Their defense was nothing special,” Seewer said. “[But] they communicated pretty well and pressured well too—that’s part of the reason we couldn’t score.”
Last year’s game against Kenyon was a completely different story, as DePauw won 2-1 in double overtime.
Saturday's loss was the Tiger’s first against a conference team, after tying Hiram 2-2 in last week’s North Coast Athletic Conference opener. The remaining six games of the season will determine how the Tigers line up for the tournament, as five of them come against conference teams.
One of the team’s preseason goals was to advance to the second round of the NCAA Division III tournament. To get there, the team has to finish in the top four of its conference while also winning the conference tournament.
“I think there’s a certain sort of reality that sets in when conference play starts… this is the path that we have to go down if we want to get to the goal we set,” McCormick said. “So the focus is different and the intensity is a little different. There’s a bigger reality that lives during conference play.”
This coming Saturday, the Tigers continue conference play, as they take on The College of Wooster, who carries an impressive season record of 7-3. Heading into the weekend, the team looks to capitalize on any opportunity to score.
“We need to work on finishing our shots and taking more risks out on the game field,” Cho said. “Not every ball played is going to be perfect. You can’t score if you don’t shoot.”
Saturday’s home game against the Fighting Scots will be played at 2:30 p.m. out at Reavis Stadium.