Seniors on men's soccer team leave legacy of success

by Caitlyn McGovern | 6/9/18 2:25am

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Wyatt Omsberg ’18 made history as the first Ivy League player to be drafted in the first round of the MLS SuperDraft.

by Ishaan Jajodia / The Dartmouth Staff

This year the men’s soccer teams will bid farewell to its three graduating seniors: Wyatt Omsberg '18, Matt Danilack '18 and Tyler Dowse '18, who have won four consecutive Ivy League titles over the course of their athletic careers . Their impact on the program has been immense, with the team finishing at the very bottom of the Ivy League in 2013 and finding itself at the top after their arrival in 2014 . This past season, the three seniors served as co-captains, finishing off their Dartmouth soccer careers without ever knowing what it’s like to be anything but the best in the Ivy League .

With a record of 12-3-2 this past season , the team had an average of 11.76 shots and 1.82 goals per game while they held their opponents to on average of 0.71 goals . In total, the team allowed 12 goals the entire season and recorded 10 shutouts. Heading into the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament for the fourth consecutive year, they were seeded at 15 and earned a first-round bye.

“We can be really proud that for four years we developed a culture and an expectation that that’s what our team is going to do every year,” Dowse said. “And it makes especially my class super happy to see that we were able to not just have success for one or two or three years, but for all four years, to be able to really show that we’re the best class and this is the best team in the League.”

This year’s graduating seniors were key to this success. Hailing from Scarborough, Maine, Omsberg has played a key role on Dartmouth’s defense for the past four years. He was named to the First Team All-Ivy team sophomore year; titled Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year while also earning the honors of NSCAA Third Team All-American and First Team All-Ivy once again junior year; and was named an NSCAA Second Team All-American and Hermann Trophy Semifinalist, in addition to First Team All-Ivy and Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year once again, in his final season with the Big Green . In this year’s Major League Soccer SuperDraft, he was the 15th overall pick, going to Minnesota United FC and becoming the highest drafted player from the Ivy League. While Omsberg is a member of the Class of 2018, he graduated in the fall of 2017 and signed with Minnesota on February 28, debuting in his first game on March 24.

Danilack, a midfielder from Rockville, Maryland, is also no stranger to success. He was named an Ivy League Honorable Mention freshman year he made the First Team All-Ivy sophomore year and he earned honors to the NSCAA All-East Region and First Team All-Ivy for both his junior and senior years. He scored six goals and tallied four assists in his last season with half of them coming as game-winning goals in matches against Brown University, Harvard University, and Princeton University. During his time at Dartmouth, he tallied 16 goals and 13 assists. At the 2018 SuperDraft, he was selected by Philadelphia Union as the eighth pick of the fourth round, making him and Omsberg the sixth and fifth players, respectively, to be drafted from Dartmouth’s men soccer program.

Courtesy of The Dartmouth Men's Soccer Team

The men’s soccer team has won plenty of intense matches over the last four years as four-time Ivy League champions.

Dowse, a defender and midfielder from Senoia, Georgia, has also left his mark on the team during his time with the Big Green. He was named to the All-Ivy Second Team sophomore year, he was an Honorable Mention All-Ivy junior year and he was named to the First Team All-Ivy as a senior. Dowse picked up the sport when he was around 10 years old after seeing his twin sister play. Apart from soccer, Dowse is involved in Chi Heorot fraternity and Thetford Mentors, a one-on-one mentoring program between student-athletes and students at Thetford Elementary School in Thetford, VT. After graduation, Dowse, an economics major, hopes to work in either finance or consulting in Boston.

Looking to the future, this is time of transition for the team, as the presence of the ’18s will be missed. Dawson McCartney ’21 emphasized the significance of the seniors’ impact on the team.

“Their leadership roles really showed what it takes to be part of the team, and they were all captains and they all were really easy to look up to,” McCartney said.

Aron Rudich ’21 spoke to how the seniors will also be missed both on and off the field.

“I will miss how well the ’18’s transition from humor to complete seriousness in the locker room,” Rudich said.

Not only did the team lose three invaluable players at the end of this season, but coach Chad Riley also departed the program to become the head coach at the University of Notre Dame after four years in Hanover . He will be replaced by Bo Oshoniyi, who served as the head men’s soccer coach of East Tennessee State University from 2014 until this past winter. He was a goalkeeper for Southern Connecticut State University with a record of 67-8-7 and played in the MLS for eight seasons after . With the arrival of Coach Oshoniyi and a new group of players from the Class of 2022, the program will look to continue to build on the success fostered by the seniors and Riley as the team pursues its fifth consecutive Ivy League Championship title.

Dowse reflected on the deep bonds forged by his time with the team.

“I have forty or fifty guys [who have] shared this experience and the successes and the struggles of it, and any one of those fifty people are basically a brother for life, which I think is really cool,” he said. “I grew up with two sisters and I never really had an actual brother, so for me that’s a huge piece of what’s been so special about this team and what this program means to me, and the fact that we were able to be successful makes that bond a little bit stronger.”