Westerville, Ohio – The Transylvania men's soccer team saw its magical 2017 season come to a close as it endured a 1-0 loss to the Kenyon College Lords in the first round of the NCAA tournament at Memorial Stadium on Saturday night.
The result put an end to both Transylvania's six-game win streak and their season as the Pioneers finished a historic campaign with a record of 17-2 overall and 8-1 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, culminating in its eighth trip to the NCAA Tournament.
As the game began, both teams seemed eager to take control early. However, neither side was able to maintain control of the ball for more than a few passes each. The back-and-forth affair lasted for most of the first half.
Momentum suddenly shifted late in the half as the Lords completed a timeline of consistently maintained possession for most of the final ten minutes of the period. With just over a minute to go in the half, Kenyon sophomore defender Max Taylor redirected a deflected corner kick above the outstretched hands of Transylvania sophomore goalkeeper Drew Grisham to give the Lords a 1-0 lead heading into the halftime break.
Early in the second half, the Lords continued to control the ball as they took 10 shots in the first twenty minutes of the half, giving Transylvania few chances to even the score.
However, the Pioneers defense continued to hold strong and did not allow the Lords to strike again.
With just under 12 minutes remaining in the game, the Pioneers got their best chance to even the score when a beautiful string of passes down the field ended with a shot from junior defender Tyler Joy-Brandon that blasted off the crossbar.
The Pioneers were unable to mount another attack and Kenyon was able to run the final few minutes off the clock, giving the Lords the 1-0 victory.
Transylvania head coach Matt Vogel was happy with his team's overall performance. "I thought the guys battled hard tonight," said Vogel. "Both teams came out hard, and we eventually started to settle into the game more and get a few chances. It was a tough break for us to give up a goal so late into the first half. With that being said, I am proud of how the guys competed and batted until the end. Our team has a lot to be proud of, and there is a lot to build on and look forward to in the future."
To track the Pioneers throughout their offseason, follow their official twitter @TransyMSoccer