Soccer teams play University of Pennsylvania this past weekend

by Michael Cleary | 10/16/17 2:05am

The men’s soccer team continued its run of good form this season with a 4-0 win over the University of Pennsylvania. The women’s team completed a challenging out-of-conference schedule with a midweek win against the College of the Holy Cross before falling in overtime to Penn 1-0 on Saturday.

Edurie Ikoba ’19 opened up the game with an early goal off an assist by Dawson McCartney ’21, but the remainder of the first half was scoreless after the fifth minute.

“I think that the next 10 minutes after the goal, we dropped off a bit, which led to Penn picking up some second balls and getting some good control of the game, but after that period we were really able to dig down,” men’s soccer coach Chad Riley said. “We were unlucky not to finish on a few crosses that almost turned into shots.”

The game felt similar to last week’s 2-2 contest at Yale University, which started with the men going ahead but ended with the Big Green unable to capitalize on early success.

“At halftime, we regrouped and realized we needed to put a little bit more intensity and focus into our play,” Riley said. “We came out, and the team did a great job to start out the second half and we controlled the play.”

The 4-0 scoreline indicates an impressive performance for Dartmouth and a disappointing result for Penn, but it does not tell the full story of the game, which was more contested than the four-goal margin would suggest.

“It wasn’t our best performance of the year, but it was complete, professional and I thought our captains did a great job leading us through a challenging road match,” Riley said.

The Big Green took just four shots on goal, but all four found the back of the net.

“Every Ivy League game, especially playing on the road, is going to be a challenge,” co-captain Wyatt Omsberg ’18 said. “Offensively, we were clinical and finished all our chances.”

On top of his strong leadership on the field as an experienced senior and co-captain, Omsberg has been recognized as a finalist for the NCAA’s Senior CLASS award for excellence on and off the field.

“He would be a wonderful recipient of it,” Riley said. “He has all of it together in the classroom and on the field, and he’s a really great teammate.”

Dartmouth’s win against Penn extends its conference record to 2-0-1, establishing itself as a strong Ivy competitor with a chance to qualify for its fourth-straight NCAA tournament.

“Our goal is to remain consistent,” Riley said. “You always want to put yourself in a position to have meaningful games at the end of the year. Now the challenge ... is the cliché of one day at a time.”

The next game the men have to look forward to is against the University of New Hampshire on Tuesday, followed by a Saturday matchup against Columbia University, Dartmouth’s first home Ivy League matchup in weeks.

“We’ll start tomorrow preparing for Tuesday,” Omsberg said. “Columbia is over the weekend, so it’s a big week for us, and we’re looking forward to it.”

For the women’s team, the trip to Philadelphia was not as rewarding. The result was Dartmouth’s third overtime loss in its first four Ivy League games.

Although the women are winless in the conference, there is still a sense in the Dartmouth camp that it is only a matter of time before results improve.

“I think that we just have to keep plugging away,” women’s soccer head coach Ron Rainey said. “When we get our chances during the run of play, or if we’re in overtime, we have to raise our level to convert on one of those.”

The women hope to reset this week in practice and continue making improvements and adjustments.

“I think our team was putting work in, and now we just have to have a short memory about some of the losses we’ve taken and just be ready for the next opportunity,” Rainey said. “Now we want to ask for more so we can get one of these results and kick start the Ivy League season a little bit.”

For the time being, Dartmouth bookends the Ivy League soccer standings with the men tied for first place at 2-0-1 and the women alone in last at 0-4.