Winter brings highs and lows for the Big Green
A recap of the 2017–2018 winter season for 13 sports
Men’s basketball finished its season this weekend after matchups with Columbia University and Cornell University. The men finished the season 7-20 overall, the same record it finished with last season, and 3-11 in Ivy League play.
This season, the team consistently performed much better at home versus away, going 6-6 in home games and 1-14 in away games. The season was highlighted by a 16-point victory over Princeton University to snap a 10-game losing streak from Dec. 30, 2017 to Feb. 9. The win was the Big Green’s first over the Tigers in the last seven matchups.
Through all the season, the team distributed the scoring well, with Brendan Barry ’20, Taylor Johnson ’18, Chris Knight ’21 and co-captain Miles Wright ’18 all averaging more than 9.8 points per game.
Because the men finished in last place in the Ivy League, they were eliminated from postseason contention. Only the top four teams can play in the Ivy League Tournament for a chance to compete in the NCAA National Championship.
“The end of the season is always very emotional,” Ian Sistare ’20 said. “A lot of people, coaches, players and trainers put in a ton of time to try and help our program succeed. Although the results this season weren’t what we were hoping for, the effort of our team was never in question. We are definitely going to miss our seniors, and we need to continue the hard work that they established here.”
The 2017-2018 season was a major step toward success for the Dartmouth women’s basketball team who had its best overall and home records since its 2009 season, when it won the 2009 Ivy League title. Though the 15-12 overall record and 7-7 Ivy League mark left the team just short of the Ivy League Tournament, the fifth-place finish exceeded its last-place preseason projection.
The women’s push for an elusive Ivy League tournament bid began this past September, when the team had its first meeting of the season in the locker room.
“On that day, our seniors stood up, and they introduced the theme of the year: ‘Our vision is to get to the Palestra and earn an 18th championship. We’re going to do whatever it takes to put ourselves in the best position to do that,’” head coach Belle Koclanes said.
The team embodied the “whatever it takes” mentality from the start, racing to a 4-0 record.
“The culture [the seniors and coaching staff] have helped create is whatever it takes, we’re going to be the most prepared, we’re going to live out our values — respect, attitude and preparation — every single day, and we’re going to compete at the highest level and let the chips fall where they may,” Koclanes said. “We’ve done that this year.”
Particularly meaningful wins in the early going included its first ever win over an Atlantic Coast Conference team against Boston College, a victory against the in-state University of New Hampshire and a triumph at Marist College on the road.
Most significant was the 81-75 win at the University of Colorado, the team’s first against a Pacific-12 team in program history.
“To do it on the road was pretty awesome,” Koclanes said. “I will forever remember that locker room celebration afterwards, so a major accomplishment there.”
Conference play opened up with a 63-56 victory at home versus Harvard University, and Dartmouth remained in close contention for a tournament bid after defeating Yale University and Brown University on the road for a then-6-4 record.
Losses at home against the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University, the top two Ivy League teams, on Feb. 23 and 24 dropped Dartmouth out of the running for the postseason.
The team had three double-digit scorers on the season: Kate Letkewicz ’18, Cy Lippold ’19 and Isalys Quiñones ’19. Letkewicz led the pack with 14.0 points per game, finishing seventh overall in Ivy League scoring, second in three-point percentage and third in three-pointers made per game among qualifiers.
Upon stepping into the starting point guard role, Lippold exploded this season with 12.3 points per game while pacing the league with her 144 assists and finishing fifth in steals per game with 2.0.
Koclanes discussed Lippold’s meteoric rise.
“[Lippold] is clearly our most improved player from a year ago to now,” Koclanes said. “It’s because she has put in the time and effort to earn that. She’s a major part of the reason for our success this year. [Lippold] has had a fantastic year, and she’s still getting better.”
Other key contributors included center Olivia Smith ’18 who averages 6.0 rebounds per game, guard co-captain Emily Slagle ’18’s .407 three-point percentage in 81 tries and guard and forward Paula Lenart ’20’s .688 field goal percentage in 48 shots.
Koclanes is thrilled with how her team has improved and will continue to improve in years to come.
“We’re going to make mistakes but we’re going to learn from them,” Koclanes said. “We’re going to grow from them, but we’re not going to beat ourselves up over it for too long because that’s counterproductive.”
After a 2-2 start to the season that included wins over Ivy League rivals Brown University and Yale University, men’s hockey went winless in its next seven games to begin the season 2-8-1. Despite taking a while to find its stride, the Big Green went on an 11-6-1 tear to end the regular season. Then-No. 2 Cornell University narrowly edged off the Big Green in a 3-1 contest on Jan. 27. In that close matchup, the Big Red sealed the game with an empty net goal, but up until the last minute, Dartmouth was very much in the game. In that game, Tim Shoup ’18 scored in his 100th career game for the Big Green, becoming the 100th member in program history to play 100 games.
Special moments were plentiful this season; a fan favorite came in mid-January when the annual Princeton University tennis ball game yielded nine total goals on the night. Just the day before, Big Green fans were given a show when Will Graber ’20 scored for Dartmouth to take the lead over Quinnipiac University with just under 10 seconds to go in the game.
Devin Buffalo ’18 had an outstanding season, posting a .910 save percentage and averaging just 2.69 goals against per game.
In the Eastern College Athletic Conference, the team finished with a final record of 11-10-1, earning a 5-seed in the ECAC playoffs. The Big Green took on 12-seeded St. Lawrence University in the first round. St. Lawrence could not hold pace with Dartmouth in the first game and lost by a close margin of 2-1. While trying to finish the series in a two-game sweep, Dartmouth let the second game slip away late in the third period, losing 4-2.
In the deciding game of the series on Sunday, Dartmouth refused to let its season end. Led by Corey Kalk ’18, who assisted on the first goal of the night and found the back of the net in the third to take a lead that the Big Green would hold for the rest of the night, Dartmouth prevailed 2-1 to lock up a trip to Harvard University for the ECAC quarterfinals. Netminder Buffalo had another amazing game, stopping 26 of 27 shots on goal.
The Big Green will face Harvard in a three-game series this Friday, Saturday and if necessary, Sunday.
Women’s hockey finished its season with a 5-19-3 overall record, failing to qualify for the eight-team ECAC playoffs after finishing second to last in the conference, ahead of only Brown University. Against Brown, the Big Green lost its first matchup 3-2 at home but won its second matchup 3-2 on the road.
The Big Green faced an incredibly tough schedule down the stretch, playing four top-10 opponents twice in its last 12 games and losing each game by at least two goals.
Christine Honor ’19 had a great season in net and received All-Ivy League Honorable Mention accolades after setting the program record for most saves in one season with 818, besting a record that has stood since the 1997-98 season.
The 2018 season was the best carnival campaign in recent memory for the Big Green. Men’s alpine and women’s Nordic led the way as Dartmouth separated itself from the University of Vermont and the rest of the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association, winning its second straight conference title.
Bad weather and scheduling quirks led to a slightly unconventional first two carnivals. The Nordic and alpine teams alternated weeks racing at the Colby College Carnival and St. Michael’s College Carnival to open the season. Warm temperatures and rain canceled the classic races at Colby, while high winds forced race organizers to postpone the slalom. At St. Michael’s, sloppy conditions shortened the classic course. Despite tough conditions, the Big Green came out ahead. Men’s and women’s alpine won both carnivals, and Dartmouth took the overall win at Colby.
Men’s alpine had a rough first day at the UVM carnival as Dartmouth’s top three skiers crashed out in the giant slalom, but the three other teams held up to help Dartmouth spoil the home team’s day in Stowe. The following week, the Big Green ran away with the lead in its home carnival. The Catamounts barely edged Dartmouth in the women’s giant slalom and the men’s slalom, but the Big Green clobbered UVM in every other event.
At the Williams College Carnival, the penultimate carnival of the season, the men’s alpine team went 1-2-3 in the giant slalom and Dartmouth got additional team wins in the women’s slalom and women’s 5-kilometer classic to win its third straight carnival. To close out a strong season, Dartmouth won three of four events on the first day of the NCAA Regional Championship and two more the following day en route to a definite victory with a 138-point lead over second-place finisher UVM.
The All-East teams were heavily green and white. Three Big Green women’s Nordic skiers made the All-East first team, while Dartmouth’s top two Nordic men also made the first team. On the alpine side, five Dartmouth men and women landed on the All-East first team. The Big Green heads to Steamboat, Colorado with high expectations and the potential to earn a national title. With a lot of talent and a dose of luck, the team stands a good chance to bring home an individual event title and claim several All-American spots.
Men’s squash finished its season 13-5 and ranked No. 5 in the College Squash Association’s national rankings after beginning the season at No. 10. The Big Green’s regular season was highlighted by five top-10 wins, including two 5-4 wins over Ivy League rival Princeton University.
Dartmouth competed in the Potter Cup for the College Squash Association National Championship where it lost 9-0 to St. Lawrence University in the first round but beat Princeton 5-4 and Rochester College 5-4 to win the consolation bracket.
Co-captain Alvin Heumann ’18 had a great season, playing at the No. 1 slot and going 11-4 in regular season matches. For his efforts, he was selected to the All-Ivy First Team for the third-straight year; however, this year, his selection was unanimous. Heumann advanced to the quarterfinals of the Men’s Individual National Championship before falling to eventual national champion David Ryan of Harvard University.
Women’s squash finished its season 7-10 overall and 1-6 in the Ivy League. The Big Green’s lone conference win came over then-No. 10 Brown University on the road. The win was also Dartmouth’s only victory over a higher ranked team. The Big Green also bested then-No. 12 George Washington University 7-2 in a matchup on Dec. 2, 2017 that featured five four-set matches.
After competing in the Kurtz Cup, the championship tournament for the ninth-to-16th-ranked teams in the country, the Big Green finished the year ranked No. 10 after losing to Drexel University 6-3 in the finals. In the cup, Dartmouth beat Middlebury College and Williams College.
Swimming and Diving
Men’s swimming and diving began its season in early November with a win over Boston College in a dual meet and losses to Harvard University and Cornell University in a tri-meet.
Women’s swimming and diving began its season a few weeks later when it joined the men’s team at the Big Al Invitational. Cathleen Li ’21 and Connor LaMastra ’21 each placed their names into the record books, breaking the program record in the women’s 100-yard fly and men’s 200-yard fly, respectively.
At the inaugural Tate Ramsden Invitational, the men’s and women’s teams honored their former teammate with two wins. Women’s co-captain Hayley Winter ’18 set a pool record in the 1,650-yard freestyle with her time of 17:07.10. LaMastra also broke the pool and Dartmouth record in the 200-yard butterfly.
The women culminated its season at the Ivy League Championships where the team finished in last with a score of 475 points. The team was led by Mackenzie Stumpf ’21 who finished second in the 200-yard breaststroke and set the school record with her time of 2:12.61.
Completing its season the following week at the Ivy League Championships, men’s swimming and diving was also met with a last-place finish. The 800-yard freestyle relay team of Carter Jacobsen ’19, Bruno Korbar ’18, LaMastra and co-captain Tony Shen ’18 began the meet by breaking the school record by over three seconds. In addition, both LaMastra and co-captain Henry Senkfor ’18 made NCAA B cut times. LaMastra qualified in the 500-yard freestyle, 400-yard individual medley and 200-yard butterfly, and Senkfor in the 200-yard individual medley.
Men’s tennis had an exceptional start this winter in advance of a tough spring break slate — during which it will face Oklahoma State University, Wichita State University and the University of Memphis — and its spring conference opener against Harvard University on March 31.
In its first contests of the new year, the Big Green dominated each match, blanking Binghamton University, Quinnipiac University, the University at Buffalo and St. John’s University at home. The men maintained their momentum, powering to a 12-0 record, including a narrow 4-3 victory over Indiana University on the road in early February. Their efforts earned them the program’s first Eastern College Athletic Conference Indoor Championship and No. 14 rank in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s rankings with only a three match weekend in Hanover left to wrap up its winter term schedule.
On Feb. 24, underdog Iowa University scraped by with a 4-3 victory to hand Dartmouth its first loss of the season. Charlie Broom ’20 and Casey Ross ’21 each lost tight third sets in what have been impressive seasons thus far for both of them.
With a second loss the next day to Old Dominion University and a win against Boston University, Dartmouth’s overall record dropped to 13-2. Currently, the Big Green is ranked No. 19.
Dartmouth has had several players ranked in the ITA’s Division I men’s national rankings this season. Broom ranked No. 100 in the preseason rankings but has since fallen out of the top-125. Meanwhile, Dan Martin ’21 has fought his way to No. 101 after going 12-5 in singles this season. Broom and partner David Horneffer ’20 have gone 10-3 in doubles to earn the No. 17 ranking.
Led by senior co-captains Kristina Mathis ’18 and Julia Schroeder ’18, women’s tennis ended its winter season with a 6-5 overall record. Mathis and Schroeder make up the No. 1, No. 2 punch at singles for Dartmouth, and both have provided steady play for Dartmouth at the top of the lineup. Mathis even cracked the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Division I women’s national singles rankings at No. 78 on Nov. 15, 2017.
The Big Green opened its winter season with wins against Boston University and Liberty University and a hard-fought 4-3 loss to the University of Denver. A 4-3 win against the University of South Florida brought Dartmouth to a 3-1 overall record, but a two-loss weekend versus Boston College and the College of William and Mary evened the Big Green’s record at 3-3.
At the Eastern College Athletic Conference Indoor Championship, Dartmouth took its first two matches 4-1 against Ivy League rivals Columbia University and Cornell University, but a loss to Princeton University in the championship finals followed by a 7-0 beatdown by No. 4 ranked Duke University the next weekend brought them even again.
Dartmouth took down the University of Massachusetts on Saturday to break past .500 yet again, and the team will look to build upon momentum during its four-match spring break slate in La Jolla, California.
Conference play begins March 31 at home versus Harvard University.
Track and Field
The men’s and women’s track and field teams began their indoor seasons in early December and finished on Feb. 25 at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships in Hanover.
The women notched a four-meet win streak in a string of home meets early in the season. The women earned their first win in a meet against the University of Maine, the University of New Hampshire and the University of Vermont. The meet was highlighted by Cha’Mia Rothwell ’20’s first-place performances in both the 60-meter dash and the 60-meter hurdles and Katie Laskoski ’21’s first-place showing in the 400-meter dash. The women’s team carried its momentum into the next few meets, winning the Dartmouth Relays, a quad-meet with Brown University, Maine and Vermont and a tri-meet with Columbia University and Yale University.
Men’s track and field also performed well at the start of the indoor season, earning an exciting first victory of the season in a meet with Brown, Maine and Vermont, in which the Big Green edged out Maine by just two points. The team managed to steal first when the 4x400-meter relay team comprised of Amos Cariati ’18, Alec Eschholz ’19, Max Frye ’21 and Parker Johnson ’19 won the final event of the meet. Donovan Spearman ’21 ran the second fastest time in program history in the 60m dash with a time of 6.82 seconds.
The men’s and women’s teams ended the indoor season by taking fourth and third respectively when they hosted Heps for the first time in four years. The weekend was marked by Rothwell’s record-breaking performances in 60m hurdles and the long jump. She set a new Ivy League and New England record at 8.20 seconds in the 60m hurdles. After scoring nearly a third of the women’s teams points, Rothwell earned herself the distinction of Female Field Performer of the Meet. Other winners for the Big Green were Julia Valenti ’20 in the pole vault, Justin Donawa ’19 in the triple jump and co-captain Benjamin Ose ’19 in the heptathlon.