Women's soccer clinches Ivy Title
NEW YORK, Nov. 6 -- You could tell what kind of afternoon it was going to be from the very beginning.
On the opening kickoff, Brittanny Boulanger '95 stripped the ball from a Columbia player, dribbled through an entire half of the field and won a corner kick for the Big Green.
Although Dartmouth didn't score directly off Boulanger's run, it set the tone for the rest of the game.
Call it total Dartmouth domination.
The Big Green simply overwhelmed Columbia, out-shooting the Lions, 28-2, and defeating them, 2-0.
The victory raised Dartmouth's overall record to 12-2-1. More importantly, the win gave the Big Green sole possession of the Ivy League title with an untarnished league record of 7-0. Dartmouth shared the 1991 Ivy title with Cornell.
"We definitely dominated and played well," Melissa McBean '97 said. "We passed quicker and were more athletic than Columbia."
"We controlled the ball the whole day," Coach Steve Swanson said. "We created lots of good opportunities and it was just a matter of time until we got a goal."
Jenna Kurowski '97 opened the scoring in the 29th minute for Dartmouth when she converted a nice cross from Boulanger. Christina Hallenbeck '97 added the insurance goal ten minutes later with the assist going to Mya Mangawang '95.
Winning the title "hasn't set in yet," Jess Andre '94 said. "We knew we were capable this year of winning it, and that gave us something to strive for."
Being Ivy champs is "a significant accomplishment," Swanson said. "People don't realize how competitive women's Ivy League soccer is. There were five or six teams that could have won the title this year. The fact that we won says a lot about our players and their dedication. They deserve it."
Swanson cited several factors for the team's success in the Ivy League this season.
"There were lots of sacrifices this season," he said. "We needed some players to take on different roles than they had in the past for the benefit of the team. We had those kind of players. We also had players who did the little things that don't show up on the score sheet -- people who worked hard and gave extra effort in the midfield or on the flanks."
But perhaps more remarkable than the team's undefeated run through the league is the fact that the Big Green did not give up a single goal in Ivy play. While this is a testament to the strength of the defensive corps of Andre, Megan Owens '96, Holly Thomas '97, Jen Ratay '97 and Andrea Lodzieski '97, as well as goalies Michelle Conroy '95 and Heidi Hachtel '96, Swanson says that other factors were involved too.
"The whole team has to play together," Swanson said. "Everyone matters. Maybe the reason why Michelle [Conroy] had such a good year was because she had Heidi [Hachtel] pushing her in practice."
"The players who may not get to play as much make the others better through positive competition in practice. It's the players like Cindy Goodwin '97, Kerry Marsh '96 and Amy Duggan '96 who make that work."
The team now looks towards post-season play. Swanson says that Dartmouth, along with the University of Massachusetts and the University of Connecticut, will almost certainly receive tournament bids from the Northeast. The official announcement will be made at a news conference this afternoon.