Big Green to play tough matches over Homecoming weekend
In addition to freshmen running around the bonfire, this upcoming weekend will present several thrilling athletic matchups that show off Dartmouth’s intense Ivy League rivalries. Beyond celebrating alumni returning to campus, Homecoming is also a time to showcase Big Green pride, both new and ageless, across the College’s many athletic disciplines. Here are some of the games to attend this weekend and the histories behind the matchups.
Volleyball: Oct. 28, 5 p.m., vs. Princeton University and Oct. 29, 5 p.m., vs. University of Pennsylvania, Leede Arena
The volleyball team is in for a busy weekend with two big conference matches in the second round of play. This season, the team has struggled to close out matches, leading to its 1-7 record in conference play. At home, though, the team has a 5-3 record, which could play a factor in helping the women avenge their away-game losses against Penn and Princeton earlier this season.
According to co-captains Emily Astarita ’17 and Kaira Lujan ’16, a bigger and more enthusiastic crowd will make these games exciting for the team.
“There’s always a lot of alums who come back, and so there are people here visiting who aren’t usually here during regular matches,” Lujan said.
The co-captains also agreed that the team tends to go into the Friday match a bit more focused before attending the Homecoming festivities and playing again on Saturday.
Since 2005, Dartmouth has won six of 23 games against Princeton and one of 23 games against Penn. Currently, Princeton stands atop the Ivy League standings with an 8-0 record while Penn is tied for fifth with a 3-5 record.
Women’s Soccer: Oct. 29, 11 a.m., vs. Harvard University, Burnham Field
With a 0-3-2 conference record, the women’s soccer team will look to capitalize on its home field advantage against the Crimson.
Co-captains Holly Patterson ’17 and Hayley Snyder ’17 noted how special this year is for the seniors since this is only the second time the team will play at home during Homecoming.
“We have a lot of pride in our big, bad Burnham, so [Homecoming] is a big thing for us,” Patterson said. “[Homecoming] always adds a lot of energy into the group, and it’s less work to do on our part to get everyone good to go.”
Currently, Harvard is second in the Ivy League standings. At last year’s matchup against the Crimson, which also came late in the season, the women played to a 1-1 tie in double overtime at Cambridge.
Saturday’s game also marks the team’s Senior Day, the last home game for the graduating seniors.
“We have a tremendous home fan base,” Snyder said. “It’s kind of sad that it’s our last time playing at home.”
Field Hockey: Oct. 29, 1 p.m., vs. Harvard University, Chase AstroTurf Field
After winning a non-conference match against the College of the Holy Cross this past Wednesday, the field hockey team will look to improve upon its 4-10 overall record with the late season game against Harvard this Saturday. The Crimson is currently first in the Ivy League, and the women have yet to earn a win in the conference.
Although the team may not have the best record, Morgan Philie ’18 said the women stack up pretty evenly to Harvard, noting the team’s competitive nature.
“It should be a good match,” Philie said. “We have a really positive outlook toward the future.”
Since 2005, the field hockey team has won seven of 11 games against the Crimson. In last season’s matchup, Dartmouth lost 1-4.
Although this is a big weekend, Philie said the team will not regard the game differently from normal games.
“If it affects the team in any way it would be that everyone is a little more excited,” she said. “It’s probably gonna be a really good game for us.”
Football: Oct. 29, 1:30 p.m., vs. Harvard University, Memorial Field
Since the annual football game during Homecoming became associated with Dartmouth Night in the 1920s, many students, faculty and alumni look forward to the matchup on Saturday.
Despite coming off of a 2015 Ivy League Championship and a strong non-conference performance against the University of New Hampshire earlier this season, the Big Green Football team has struggled to make a name for itself within the league. The team currently has a 0-3 conference record, putting the Big Green at eighth place.
Looking to this weekend against the Crimson, who is tied for first place with Penn, offensive lineman Justin Call ’16 said the team is incredibly motivated and focused.
“We just really want to come out and play our best and show people what we’re capable of,” he said.
Last season, the Crimson beat the Big Green, 14-13, preventing the Big Green, the eventual three-way League Champions, from accomplishing its first perfect season since 1996.
Since 2000, the Big Green only won one game out of 16 matchups against the Crimson.
However, Call said the Big Green beat Harvard during a preseason scrimmage, alluding to the team’s potential to win on Saturday.
“It really all comes down to making sure everyone is doing their job and playing as well as they can,” he said.
Men’s Soccer: Oct. 29, 4:30 p.m., vs. Harvard University, Burnham Field
With a third consecutive Ivy League Championship on the line and a 3-0-1 Ivy League record, the men’s soccer team is looking to win big against Harvard since they are both currently tied for first within the conference.
Starting goalkeeper James Hickok ’17 said playing during Homecoming makes the game more fun, noting the added energy on the field that comes from having more people cheering in the stands.
During last year’s Homecoming, the men defeated Yale, 1-0, before playing Harvard toward the end of the season and winning, 1-0, in overtime.
Regarding any pressure the team may feel this weekend, Hickok said the pressure is a good one to have.
“It’s nice to have something to play for,” he said.
Men’s Ice Hockey: Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m., vs. University of Michigan, Thompson Arena
For the first time since 2011, the men’s ice hockey team will be opening its season during Homecoming weekend. Since this is a new experience for seniors, alternate captain Grant Opperman ’17 said there is a little bit more of a buzz around campus.
“I don’t think it’s a huge deal to us, but it’s a little more involved than usual versus not having it on homecoming,” he said.
With a preseason draw with Harvard this past weekend that resulted in a 2-3 loss in a three-round shootout, the Big Green will host the Wolverines, who is currently ranked No. 11 according to a U.S. College Hockey poll.
Last season, the team traveled to Ann Arbor, Michigan to play the Wolverines in a two-game series. The Big Green lost the first match, 7-0, before tying the second game, 1-1, in overtime.
Since Michigan plays in the Big-10, Opperman noted the game will be exciting because students will get to see competition from outside the Ivy League.
“While it’s a little more fun when you’re playing an Ivy, I think it’s pretty exciting for students to come see a pretty big school and what their athletics have to offer,” he said.