The Big Green Weekend Primer

by Blaze Joel | 10/16/14 1:26pm

Big Green teams are coming into Homecoming weekend on fire this season. The football team has won two in a row over Ancient Eight foes while the men’s soccer team has won five of its last six games. Here are our picks for a packed Homecoming weekend that sees 15 teams in action.

 

Football vs. the College of the Holy Cross

(1:30 p.m. Saturday)

These teams are on opposite streaks before their matchup in Hanover. The Big Green (3-1, 2-0 Ivy) has won two in a row in impressive fashion, while the Crusaders (2-5, 0-2 Patriot) lost four straight, including a 27-24 double overtime defeat at Brown University last week.

The Crusaders bring a balanced attack, having scored nearly equal numbers of touchdowns on the ground and through the air. But their 14 turnovers have doomed the Crusaders this season, limiting an offense that averages 366 yards per game to just 19.6 points per game. Dual threat sophomore quarterback Peter Pujals, who is a force to be reckoned with, leads the team in both rushing and passing. But, the Dartmouth defense can likely key in on the sophomore -— no member of the rest of the Crusaders backfield averages over 50 yards per game.

Holy Cross has struggled defensively, giving up more than 20 points in all but one game. The team has allowed 187 rushing yards per game but just 208 passing yards per game. This should not trouble the Big Green, however, which has shown its ability both through the air and on the ground. Quarterback Dalyn Williams ’16 looks primed to continue his hot streak in this matchup, regardless of his manner of attack.

Throw in the fact that this is Homecoming weekend, and this game should keep the winning streak alive.

Prediction: Dartmouth 28-13

 

Men’s soccer vs. the University of Pennsylvania

(7 p.m. Saturday)

The men’s soccer team (7-3-1, 2-0-0 Ivy) cracked Soccer America’s top-25 rankings on the back of an eight-game unbeaten streak this week and followed it with a loss against No. 22 Boston University. This weekend, the team faces off against a Penn team (5-6-0, 1-1-0 Ivy) that has lost its last two contests.

Last weekend’s game was the team’s first home loss this season, and the team should be striving to get back on the winning track at Burnham Field. That is possible against the Quakers, but the Big Green needs to play to its potential against a Penn team that has scored 18 times this year. Senior Duke Lacroix and sophomore Alec Neumann, who have both scored six goals this year, should challenge the Big Green’s back line.

The Penn defense, however, has given up 23 goals on the season. The team has also surrendered more than one goal in seven games, only one of which went down as a win. In their game against Central Connecticut State University, the teams’ only common opponent, the Quakers won 4-3. The Big Green defeated the Blue Devils 3-1. Look for Alex Adelabu ’15 and Hugh Danilack ’15 to find room among the Quakers defense and generate some quality scoring chances.

Prediction: Dartmouth 2-0

 

Women’s soccer vs. the University of Pennsylvania

(4:30 p.m. Saturday)

The women’s soccer team (3-4-4, 0-0-3 Ivy) comes into Homecoming on a five-game winless streak, but has earned three ties in three games of Ivy play, keeping itself in contention for the title. The Quakers (5-4-2, 1-2-0 Ivy) dropped their last contest against the Naval Academy.

Both teams bring a defense-first approach to the game and are averaging one goal per game on the season. Neither team has more than two players with multiple goals. The Big Green, however, has had a stingier back line, allowing only nine goals to the Quakers’ 14. The Big Green offense has produced more chances than the Quakers, who average just over 10 shots per game. The Big Green averages more than 14. The Dartmouth women have also earned 74 corners on the season to Penn’s 52.

This game should be a defensive battle and could very well come down to who scores first. The Big Green defense and goalkeeper Tatiana Saunders ’15 will have to play big to help bolster the struggling offense.

Prediction: Dartmouth 1-0