Kenyon vs. Wittenberg
March 31, 2012
The Game Story:
GAMBIER, Ohio (March 31, 2012) The Kenyon College defense stepped up in a big way Saturday and smothered the visiting Wittenberg University Tigers during a 7-5 North Coast Athletic Conference lacrosse victory at McBride Field. The win was Kenyon's first over Wittenberg since the 2009 season.

For three quarters the Lords defense, spearheaded by the starting trio of Andrew Kissner (Merion, PA/Episcopal Academy), Jack Vallis (Ridgefield, CT/Lawrenceville), and Robert Yee (Portland, OR/Riverdale), held the Tigers to just two goals. When Wittenberg was able to uncork a shot, Kenyon sophomore goalkeeper Fletcher Franklin (Katonah, NY/John Jay) was in position to make save after save. In fact, Wittenberg outshot Kenyon, 25-21, but Franklin ended up making 11 saves.

With the defense holding steady, Kenyon's offense jumped out to a 4-0 lead. Max Olson (Bainbridge Island, WA/Bainbridge) and Caleb Florence (DeCatur, GA/Loomis Chaffee) scored first-quarter goals, while Justin Coleman (Saunderstown, RI/Portsmouth Abbey) and Geoff Akie (Sherborn, MA/Dover-Sherborn) netted second-quarter tallies. Will Lowe (Charlotte, NC/Myers Park), who now leads the team with 16 assists, set up both Olson's and Coleman's goals.

Wittenberg was not able to record its first goal until there were just 11 seconds left in the half. Alex Previte was the Tiger who scored it, but Wittenberg was still facing a three-goal deficit at the half.

In the third-quarter, junior Mackie Avis (Grand Rapids, MI/East Grand Rapids) came alive for the Lords. He scored twice in the period and sent his squad into the final quarter with a 6-2 advantage.

Wittenberg (5-3, 0-1 NCAC) made a push during those final 15 minutes, but a goal from Kenyon's Chris Pappalardo (Chevy Chase, MD/Bethesda Chevy Chase) at the 12:55 mark all but broke the Tigers' back. With Wittenberg in Kenyon's zone, Pappalardo was able to scoop up a loose ball. He raced up the middle of the field with it, cutting through the Wittenberg defense. When he approached the goal, Pappalardo turned around a defender by flipping a pass to Avis, who was standing behind the circle. Avis then quickly flipped the pass back to Pappalardo, who buried it in the net.

With that big conference win under its belt, Kenyon (6-2, 1-0 NCAC) will now prepare for a non-conference contest against Otterbein University. That game takes place Wednesday at McBride Field with a 4 p.m. start.