Women's soccer wins; Dartmouth will at least share Ivy Title
A lone Harvard voice could occasionally be heard in the bleachers at Chase Field on Saturday. But every time he opened his mouth to root for his team, his cheer was drowned out by choruses of "Go Dartmouth!"
Just as the Harvard cheers were drowned out by those from Dartmouth, the Harvard women's soccer team was swallowed up by the Big Green.
The steady, strong Dartmouth defense thwarted every Harvard attack. The Crimson managed only two shots on the afternoon.
The Big Green offense, on the other hand, simply overwhelmed the Harvard defense, pounding the Crimson with 24 shots.
One of those shots found the net, and that was all that Dartmouth needed cruise to its eleventh victory of the year, snapping a one-game losing streak. More importantly though, the win guaranteed Dartmouth a share of its second Ivy League championship in three years.
"It was a big win for us," Coach Steve Swanson said, "not just because it clinched the Ivy title, but because it was a win against Harvard at Homecoming. When you play Harvard, there is always more excitement and emotion. It still would have been that way if we were winless."
Melissa McBean '97 provided the winning edge for Dartmouth in the 58th minute. After Christina Hallenbeck '97 played a perfect ball down the left sideline, McBean beat one defender and then rifled a shot from 15 yards out that hit the far post and went in the net.
"It was a great shot by Melissa," Swanson said. "She had this look in her eyes when she got the ball and you could tell that she was determined to get a shot off. It was a great ball by Christina, too. She waited until the right moment to release it and she deserves a lot of credit for the goal."
Dartmouth had many other scoring chances throughout the game. Near misses by Kate Andrews '96 and Mya Mangawang '95 kept the score close. Swanson was pleased to see that so many opportunites were generated.
"We really controlled the second half," Swanson said. "We looked fresh, which was good since we seemed tired at the end of last week. It was nice to see us moving the ball around."
"We definitely dominated the game," Annalisa Gorman '94 said. "We out-worked and out-hustled them, and our hearts were really in the game."
Swanson said she was also very happy for the team's seniors, Jess Andre and Gorman, who played in their final Homecoming game.
"It was very emotional for me since this is my last year of competitive soccer," Gorman said. "But to go out and put out as much effort as our team does and get results, it's a great feeling."
Dartmouth now turns its attention to Columbia, which it faces Saturday in New York. According to Swanson, Columbia has been struggling this year, but he's quick to point out that two years ago, the Big Green faced them in a similar situation and escaped with an overtime win.
"They will be looking to play the role of the spoiler," Swanson said. "We have to be ready to play and we can't take anything for granted."