by Caitlin McCarthy
Kenyon College men’s lacrosse team, the Lords, traveled to the Mountain Sunday, March 2, for a faceoff against our beloved Sewanee Tigers. It was a match up between two strikingly similar teams – teams with enormously talented goalies, a shared love of purple uniforms, and an unrelenting desire to earn the big W. Any thoughts of a home turf advantage can be nixed, as the Lords got to play the Tigers on a perfect, sunny 75 degree afternoon – certainly trumps Ohio early-March snow.
The Tigers were hungry for a win from the get-go. Attack Hayden Byrd (C’17) expertly passed the ball to attack Matthew Stiefel (C’17) who snapped it into the goal, zipping past the Kenyon goalie for the first goal of the game. Shortly thereafter, Stiefel sent the ball right into attack Davis Brown’s (C’14) spoon. He proceeded to pummel the ball into the goal with 6:48 left on the clock, giving Sewanee a lead of two goals to Kenyon’s zero. But the Lords had not traveled over 500 miles to give up that easily. After a face-off, the Lords finally netted a single goal and the first quarter promptly concluded.
What had thus far been a simple matchup for the Tigers changed with that one goal. There is an undeniable passion found in Sewanee student athletes, and the men’s lacrosse team is no exception. A feisty, fired up fever ran through the Tigers as they took the field, ready to dominate the second period.
And dominate they did.
Attack Michael Morris (C’14) first assisted Stiefel who scored once again, then with 2:48 minutes on the clock, took matters into his own hands and scored completely unassisted. The Lords were left in a tizzy – how did the Tigers already have a 4-1 lead? Before the Lords could retreat to their halftime huddle, Tiger attack Morris sent the ball skyrocketing through the air and as if it were made of metal, and Brown’s stick a magnet, the two conjoined, and in a sweeping, graceful motion Brown shot the ball into the Kenyon goal, scoring with a mere single second left on the clock.
Kenyon players encircled their head coach, Misarti, who managed to rally them enough to take on the third period with previously unseen vigor. They scored three successive goals until Brown had had enough and interrupted their streak with yet another fantastic goal following an assist from midfielder Mike Woo (C’17).
The last two and half minutes of the third quarter showed both teams giving their all, running the ball up and down the field. With 100% coming from both sides, neither team was able to make a goal. The fourth quarter was upon us. Spectators watched nervously as this game turned into quite the barnburner. Kenyon scored fairly immediately. Just over a minute later, Tiger midfielder Baylor Koch (C’16) scored with help from teammate Byrd. Then a Lord managed to make an unassisted goal. Brown once again dominated, skillfully maneuvering the ball through the air to midfielder George Bukawyn (C’17) who immediately scored. A sense of relief swept the Tiger’s half of the field and the fans nervously watching on. Sewanee once again had a 2 goal lead, with a score of 8-6. Nevertheless, the game was not over yet, not even close – 8:45 minutes remained.
Sewanee’s defense stepped up even more, shutting the Lords down every time they ventured into Tiger territory. Kenyon responded with relentless offense. The back and forth continued at a painstaking pace. The Lords had plenty of time and the skill to come back, as proved earlier in the game when Sewanee first had a 2 point lead. Just after the four minute mark, the Lords scored a seventh goal. It was crunch time. The Tigers attacked and defended fearlessly, but the Lords matched them each and every time. At this point it really was anyone’s game and spectators watched attentively, awaiting the unknown victor.
Finally the clock ran out, signaling a win for the Tigers! With a score of 8 to Kenyon’s 7, the Tigers had successfully beaten their northern counterpart and relished in a joyful moment of unadulterated glory. Sewanee men’s lacrosse head coach Marty Watters, along with assistant coaches Harry Prevas and Slater Ottenritter, welcomes all students, faculty, staff, and community members to come to their upcoming game against the College of Wooster. The game promises to bring an exciting kickoff to Spring Break and will be held at 7pm on Wednesday, March 12 on the Hardee-McGee Field in Harris Stadium.