Men’s soccer looks to end losing streak

by Kelly Chen | 10/23/14 3:04pm

The men’s soccer team is looking to get back on track against the Lions.

The men’s soccer team travels to New York Saturday to face Columbia University, where they hope to get off the schneid and back into the win column. After reeling off five wins in a row, the Big Green (7-4-1, 2-1-0) has lost two straight and only scored one goal per game. During the previous streak, the team netted 13 goals.The team is looking to refocus, co-captain Gabe Hoffman-Johnson ’14 said.“We need to return to who we are and focus on what the team does well — we like to be the hardest working team,” Hoffman-Johnson said. “We put in a lot of work last winter, spring and pre-season to get really fit. Later in the game, when everyone is tired after doing a lot of running, we can outwork our opponents because of our fitness.”During the team’s eight-game unbeaten streak, the team scored 21 goals and notched two tallies or more in each game.“Early in the season, we were converting three to four chances a game, and we haven’t been doing that lately,” Gabe Stauber ’15 said. “We need to go back to what we were doing and to being more ruthless and dangerous around the box. The past two games, we’ve still been creating chances but we haven’t been finishing them as much.”Nick Rooney ’15 said he is optimistic about recovering from the team’s losing streak, but said that the team is well-rested and well-focused heading into Saturday’s matchup against the Lions (5-5-1, 1-1-1 Ivy).Rooney said that the team has not played its best in its last two contests and the week layoff has helped them regain focus.“We want to get back to the attitude we had in the pre-season and first few games,” he said. “We’ll return to doing what we did well and having confidence.”The Big Green has the advantage on offense, having scored 24 goals this season to the Lions’ 13. Defensively, the Columbia backline has been stingier, allowing 13 goals to the Big Green’s 17. Junior goalkeeper Kyle Jackson is the linchpin, with 22 saves on the year. Scoring will be challenging for the Big Green attack that has gone cold during the losing streak.“Our team has enough talent to score in the game,” Alex Adelabu ’15 said. “We just need to make sure we’re focused but we’re still in a good place in the league, we have a chance to win the Ivy title and we’re going to take it.”The Dartmouth men are well positioned for the postseason, even with the conference loss to the University of Pennsylvania. They sit tied for second in the Ancient Eight, just one point behind Harvard University, who they will play next weekend in Hanover.“The Ivy League is a very tough, competitive league. Usually teams that win the title don’t win every single game, and the position we’re in now still gives us a really good shot.” Hoffman-Johnson said.Dartmouth last captured the Ivy title in 2011, and with three games remaining in the conference, the Big Green still has a chance this season to top the Ivies, which Rooney said was a goal for this season.“We’re in a good spot in the table, we just need to capitalize on our chances,” he said.On a more personal level, the team is looking for a bit of revenge for a 2-0 defeat last season in Hanover.“Columbia beat us last year at home, so we have a score to settle,” Stauber said. “Winning isn’t a promise, but it would be a huge step in the right direction.”The game kicks off at 7 p.m. on Saturday.