A bright tomorrow for women's soccer

by Camille Powell | 11/16/93 6:00am

The first question that jumps to mind when looking back on the Big Green women's soccer season is: "What can they possibly do for an encore?"

After all, the list of 1993 season highlights is longer than a Megan Owens '96 clear: a 12-3-1 overall record for the most wins in school history, a remarkable undefeated and unscored upon run through the Ivy League for the program's second league title in three years, a 10 game unbeaten streak in the middle of the season and a first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.

What next? "More success," Mya Mangawang '95 said. "We've set the standard for years to come and we can only go up from here."

And this is a program that is definitely on its way up.

It was only 1990 when the squad won only one Ivy contest and four games overall. In 1991, Dartmouth made an incredible turn-around, earning a share of the league title. And last year, the team made its first post-season appearance in the ECAC tournament. Complacent is not a word that describes this team.

"We certainly have not reached this point by resting or being satisfied," Coach Steve Swanson said. "There is a definite desire to improve. We were very hungry the year after we won only one league game. We have that same hunger now, but our expectations are higher."

And they should be. The Big Green loses only two seniors, albeit important ones, in Honorable Mention All-Ivy picks Annalisa Gorman and Jess Andre. But the returning players would make any coach drool.

Mangawang and Brittanny Boulanger '95, both named All-Northeast as well as All-Ivy, will look to finish off terrific careers next year. Boulanger was the team's second leading scorer (five goals, three assists) and Mangawang was one of its most dangerous players.

Melissa McBean '97 had a phenomenal season, leading the team in scoring with seven goals and three assists. She had the game-winners against the University of Vermont and Harvard, and her performance earned her All-Northeast, All-Ivy and Ivy League Rookie of the Year honors.

Three other underclassmen also provided offensive punch. Jenna Kurowski '97 and Christina Hallenbeck '97 scored some timely goals, and Kate Andrews '96 was a hard-working, physical presence in the midfield.

The majority of the tough Dartmouth defense will return. The corps of Owens, Jen Ratay '97, Holly Thomas '97 and keeper Michelle Conroy '95 continually frustrated opposing offenses and allowed only 10 goals all year. Owens was named first team All-Ivy; Conroy and Thomas were second team selections.

"It's difficult to remain consistent for a whole season, especially when you have a bunch of young players," Swanson said. "I'm proud of the way the veterans and the rest of the team managed to concentrate and keep our short term goals in perspective."

Swanson said that one of the most memorable moments of the season for him came during a preseason scrimmage against Williams.

"It was not a good performance on our part," he said. "But it was a great test. We had to look inside ourselves and open our minds. We realized then that we couldn't get by without doing the little things and working hard. I was happy with the way the team responded to that challenge."

Now that the season is finished, Swanson said the players deserve the chance to sit back and reflect on their accomplishments. But he is already anxiously looking forward to next season.

"It's like climbing a huge wall," Swanson said. "You work hard to get one leg over the top and then suddenly you get knocked down and have to start all over again. It's not a problem though, since the climbing is fun."

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