The Big Green Weekend Primer
After a successful week three on the fields, 12 Big Green teams return to action this week in Hanover and across the Northeast. Here’s our analysis of a few of the upcoming contests.
Football at Yale University (1 p.m. Saturday)
The Big Green (2-1, 1-0 Ivy) hits the road to take on one of the early-season surprises in the Ancient Eight: the Yale Bulldogs (3-0, 1-0 Ivy). The Bulldogs have put up at least 49 points in every game this season with their lowest point total coming in an upset win over FBS team Army. Last season, the Big Green upset a similarly undefeated Yale team 20-13 at Homecoming.
This game will be a quarterback battle between Dartmouth’s Dalyn Williams ’16 and Yale junior Morgan Roberts. Both have been spectacular in the early season, both through the air and on the ground. Williams has nine total touchdowns and Roberts has contributed 12 of his own in the first three games. Running backs Kyle Bramble ’16 and Yale senior Tyler Varga are also poised for big games after stellar season-opening efforts.
The Bulldogs, who average a staggering 631 yards and 51.3 points per game as part of a balanced attack, should challenge the Big Green’s defense. The Dartmouth defense has struggled, giving up 463 yards per game and 28 points per game. However, the defense took some great leaps last weekend in a blowout 31-13 win over the University of Pennsylvania, allowing only 33 yards on the ground and making the Penn offense completely one-dimensional. On the other side of the ball, the Yale defense is hawkish, forcing four interceptions in three games. The Bulldogs are giving up 33 points per game, but the number is slightly skewed thanks to a 13-point effort by an anemic Cornell University offense.
Prediction: 42-38 Dartmouth
Men’s soccer vs. Yale University (4:30 p.m. Saturday)
The men’s soccer team (6-2-1, 1-0-0 Ivy) comes in hot, having won six of its last seven games, unbeaten since two season-opening contests against ranked teams Indiana University and University of Notre Dame. Yale (0-7-2, 0-1-0 Ivy), on the other hand, comes into the game limping, having lost its last four contests.
The Big Green has scored 17 goals over its seven-game unbeaten streak whereas the Bulldogs have only scored three all season and have not had a multi-goal game yet. Sophomore Ryan Simpson and senior Blake Brown have split time at goaltender this year for the Bulldogs and have both stopped 20 shots in five games of action. The Yale defense has only allowed more than one goal twice this season and has played in seven one-goal games so far. The defensive prowess of the Bulldogs should challenge Big Green goal-scorers Alex Adelabu ’15, Hugh Danilack ’15 and Robin Alnas ’15.
The Dartmouth defense has also been impressive during the streak, surrendering only six goals and is returning home, where the team has not lost this season. The Big Green has only surrendered one goal on Burnham Field so far this season.
If the Big Green finds the back of the net, its defense should hold against a weak Yale attack.
Prediction: 2-0 Dartmouth
Women’s soccer vs. Yale University (7 p.m. Saturday)
After a 2-2 tie last weekend at Princeton University, the women’s soccer team (3-3-3, 0-0-2 Ivy) returns home to face Yale (5-3-1, 0-1-1 Ivy). Neither team has won in the last three games and is looking to get back on the right track for the Ancient Eight slate. The Big Green hopes to extend its home unbeaten streak to 17 games.
The only common opponent the teams have played so far this season is Sacred Heart University. The Big Green recently lost 1-0 to Sacred Heart while the Bulldogs defeated the Pioneers 2-1 on the road. Both teams post stingy defenses that have not allowed double-digit goals this season. The Bulldogs have only allowed more than one goal in one game this season, a 2-1 loss against Manhattan University. The Big Green has allowed three multi-goal games.
On the offensive side of the ball, the teams are relatively even. The Bulldogs have scored 14 goals (although none in the last three games and none in the Ancient Eight), while the Big Green have tallied 11. Lucielle Kozlov ’16 and Tasha Wilkins ’15 have scored seven of the Big Green’s goals this year and will have to carry the Big Green attack. Yale senior Frannie Coxe, sophomore Geneva Decker and freshman Sarah McCauley have provided the bulk of the Bulldogs’ offense, with three goals each.
One goal could be the difference in a game that seems headed for overtime.
Prediction: 0-0 tie