Men’s soccer records first win of the season in double OT

by Ray Lu | 9/15/15 6:01pm

Highlighted by a double-overtime home win over the College of the Holy Cross, the men’s soccer team wrapped up its early four-game schedule before the beginning of the fall term with a 2-1-1 record.

In its season opener, the Big Green ended its 11-game losing streak against the University of Connecticut by shutting out the Huskies in a scoreless 0-0 tie after 110 minutes of play. Stefan Cleveland ’16 made five stops, keeping the Big Green in the game despite the team tallying only two shots on target.

Two days later, the men recorded their first win of the season by edging Holy Cross with a golden goal two minutes into the second overtime period. Amadu Kunateh ’19 rose to the occasion, scoring the game-winner for the first goal of his collegiate career — and Dartmouth’s first goal of the season — off a throw-in by Alexander Marsh ’17. The ball rattled around in the box and redirected off the head of Matt Danilack ’18 before setting up Kunateh for the header.

“Marsh actually just subbed on for that second overtime and came in and threw the ball further [than we meant to throw it], just launched it in the box,” Danilack said. “I was there and flicked it off my head, and it hit [Kunateh] and deflected in for the goal.”

Kunateh’s late heroics landed him Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors.

The men saw their two-game unbeaten streak come to an end against Colgate University on Sept 11. Even though the Big Green out-shot the Raiders 11-to-5 with six shots on target, Dartmouth failed to slot one in the net, and Colgate stole the game with a single goal.

Kunateh tested Colgate keeper Ricky Brown with two shots in the first 20 minutes, but Brown was able to turn away both of the early attempts.

The Raiders took the lead early in the second half. Colgate sophomore Tory Moo Penn struck from distance, curling the shot over the reach of Dartmouth goalkeeper James Hickok ’17. The goal was one of three shots that the Raiders put on target.

The Big Green had two final scoring opportunities in the last five minutes, but Colgate’s Brown managed to keep his shutout alive.

The shots finally started to find the back of the net when the men took on the State University of New York at Albany. Three minutes into the game, Ricardo Gomez ’17 drilled a header past the Albany goalkeeper. Samuel Rosen ’16 tacked on another goal before halftime, stretching the lead to two.

Three rookies combined for the final score of the evening. Kunateh found Eduvie Ikoba ’19, who used his size and speed to hold off a couple of defenders before assisting Noah Paravicini ’19 for the goal.

“This was a solid play all the way around,” head coach Chad Riley said in a press conference. “We gained possession on a nice, aggressive play to steal the ball, and Kunateh and Ikoba both had great vision to make the play happen. Paravicini showed a nice touch to control the ball and beat the keeper as well.”

Over the course of the game, Dartmouth tallied three shots on target, and all three went in for goals.

Another strong effort in the net helped the Big Green secure a final scoreline of 3-0. Cleveland recorded his second shutout in two starts, and the team has only allowed one goal so far this season.

One of the biggest storylines for this year’s men’s soccer team is how it will replace last year’s talented group of seniors. Alex Adelabu ’15 finished his career fourth in all time points and fifth in goals. Three other players -— Stefan Defregger ’15, Colin Heffron ’15 and Gabe Hoffman-Johnson ’14 — signed contracts to play professional soccer.

“I think we had all the pieces last year [to replace the departing class],” Cleveland said. He cited the depth of the squad as one of its biggest strengths.

The team again fielded a great recruiting class. In addition to Kunateh, both Ikoba and Paravicini have made their minutes count early in the season.

Dartmouth’s two goalkeepers — Cleveland and Hickok — have rotated the first couple of games. Cleveland started the first game against UConn and the most recent game against Albany, while Hickok played the two games in between.

The coaches like to get a feel for both players early in the year, Cleveland said, so that the team is prepared in the case that one goalkeeper is unable to play.

The team travels to Seattle this weekend to face the University of Washington on Friday and Seattle University on Sunday.