The Big Green Weekend Primer

by Blaze Joel | 9/18/14 1:54pm

The first weekend of term is also a major sports weekend for the Big Green, as nine Dartmouth teams are in action. We’ve analyzed a few games on the weekend slate.

 

Women’s soccer v. Northeastern University (Friday at 5 p.m.)

The women’s soccer team (1-2-1) plays twice this weekend: at home Friday against Northeastern University and on the road Sunday against the University of Vermont. After picking up its first win on Sunday against St. John’s University 2-0, the Big Green stay home to face the Huskies (4-2-2). The Dartmouth women have been unbeatable at home over the last three seasons, not dropping a contest at Burnham Field in 14 games. For this streak to continue, the Big Green will need to play a tough game, as the team has had a stellar early season.

Northeastern’s offense has cruised to 3-0 and 4-0 victories so far this season. However, it has only scored in four of eight games this year. The defending champions for the Colonial Athletic Association post one of the best defenses in the country, allowing a fourth-best 0.25 goals per game. Six of the team’s eight games have been shutouts. Opposing teams have only managed 15 shots on net against the Huskies and have lost the corner kick battle 61-12 this year.

This does not bode well for a Dartmouth offense that has only put three balls in the back of the net this season. The Big Green defense has been stellar, though, allowing only four goals in four games and holding opponents to just 13 corners in the early season.

This game will boil down to which offense shows up for Northeastern and how the Big Green defense compares. Expect a low scoring affair where one goal could make the difference.

Prediction: 0-0 tie

 

Men’s soccer v. University of Massachusetts at Lowell (Friday at 7 p.m.)

The Big Green (1-2-0) made it into the win column last Sunday with a 2-1 victory over Hofstra University and now looks towards the meat of its schedule after two early season losses at ranked opponents from the Hoosier State. This is also the team’s home opener and it should build off of a typically loud crowd at Burnham Field, as it has in the past. Despite a disappointing 3-4-3 mark at home last season, the team went 6-1 in the friendly confines two years ago.

The team should match up well against the River Hawks (2-5-0), who at times have struggled to score this season, being shut out in four of seven games thus far. Both of the River Hawks’ wins have come in multi-goal efforts. The Dartmouth back line must slow this streaky offense but should be up to the task.

On the offensive side of the ball, Dartmouth has also struggled to find the net, but it’s not from lack of effort. The team has ripped 34 shots this season, 11 of which have been on net. Though the team has only scored three goals, this should be easier against the River Hawks, who have allowed 12 goals.

This game should come down to which team can enter the scoring column first. If athletes play the way they are capable, this should go down as a win.

Prediction: 1-0 Dartmouth

 

Football v. Central Connecticut State University (Saturday at 7 p.m.)

This is the first time ithat the Big Green (0-0) will host the Blue Devils (1-2). The game is under the lights at Memorial Field, where the Big Green went 4-2 last season, including a dramatic win in the snow against Ivy League co-champion Princeton University. Expect a raucous crowd for the opener.

For the Big Green, this game will be a good litmus test: CCSU beat defending national runner-up Towson University in its season opener but has struggled in the two games since, posting only seven points in two blowout losses. Regardless, the Blue Devils have star power at running back, quarterback and safety, which will challenge the Big Green.

That being said, Dartmouth is a force to be reckoned with when healthy. Quarterback Dalyn Williams ’16 is a dual-threat in the gun, posting top-five numbers for passing and rushing last season. With a newly healthy receiving corps, expect those numbers to only increase. A Blue Devils rush defense that has surrendered 184 yards per game should be a good opportunity for Kyle Bramble ’16 and Brian Grove ’16 to get experience as the feature backs. The defense may be tested early, but experience in the secondary and depth at linebacker should be the difference.

Prediction: 24-17 Dartmouth