Fall sports conclude; men stay consistent
The men's heavyweight crew team concluded its fall season this weekend at the Foot of the Charles in Boston, and although the team did not manage to crack the top 10 with any of their boats, the race was not a total loss.
"We definitely didn't perform the way we would have liked to this weekend," said co-Captain Brian Palm '96. "But now we have a good reason to work hard over the winter."
Despite their poor showing in the Foot of the Charles, the fall was by no means a disappointment for Dartmouth crew, which had several strong showings, including victories in the Head of the Connecticut and the Bausch & Laumb regattas.
"We definitely lost some focus over the last week, so hopefully this race is just an anomaly," Palm said.
Anomaly or not, the crew team will definitely not be resting on their laurels during the off-season. Beginning last Sunday, they began pursuing their own world record in the million meter erg, rowing in nonstop shifts for almost three days.
For the majority of the winter they will maintain a regiment of indoor rowing, running, and weightlifitng. Then during spring break, they will head down to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to get some quality practice time in, out on the water.
The first regatta of the spring season will be in early April versus Yale and Cornell.
Cross Country (4-1, 0-0 Ivy)
After a somewhat slow start, the men's cross country team erupted at the end of the season, as the Big Green finished their fall competition yesterday afternoon with a 16th place finish in the NCAA Championships in Ames, Iowa.
Led throughout their season by Jack Dwyer '96, the Big Green proved to be a top team in the Ivy League.
Two weeks ago in the Heptagonal Championships, the Dartmouth men showed exactly how tough they are, finishing first in the competitive race.
Continuing the streak, the men pulled off a second place district finish in the IC4A Qualifying tournament which earned them their trip to the NCAAs yesterday.
With strong performances also from underclassmen Don Conrad '99, Jim Gerhart '98 and Aaron Schumacher '98, the Big Green look to build on their youth.
Football (8-2-1, 6-2-1 Ivy)
In the preseason predictions, Dartmouth Football was picked to finish in the cellar of the Ivy League. Critics said Dartmouth had a battered running game, an inexperienced and small defense and no heart.
And for the first four weeks of the season it appeared as if they were correct. After one month, the Big Green were 0-2 in the league and tied for last place. Their only victories had come in sloppily-played non-league games.
Then came the magic, and, for seven weeks, Dartmouth was unbeatable. The Big Green proved their critics wrong, rallying around their young defense and their supposedly suspect offense to finish 6-2-1 in the Ivy League and coming four seconds and just one point short of a share of the Ivy League title.
This remarkable turnaround has made this season a magical one for Dartmouth, and the leadership of the senior class was the key to this almost unbelievable fall.
"We had a great senior class and we wanted them to leave with a ring," quarterback Jon Aljancic '97 said.
Unfortunately, things did not work out that way.
"It was nice to have a good game my last chance," Jeff English '96 said. "I've always wanted to walk off the field for the last time with no regrets, but I obviously would have traded all that in for a win."
The strong performances by the Big Green earned them four first team All-Ivy selections. Offensive tackle Brian Larsen '97, defensive linebackers Zack Walz '98 and Mark Abel '97 and defensive end Scott Hapgood '97 were among the selected.
Second team honors went to defensive back Lloyd Lee '98 and place kicker Dave Regula '98
For the men's golf team, the season is over and the clubs have been stored away, leaving plenty of time for reflection on the past season, and anticipation of things to come.
Along with many respectable individual performances, the team finished sixth (out of 24) at the Toski Invitational, eighth (out of 16) at the Dartmouth Invitational, third (out of 21) at the ECAC Qualifier, 15th (out of 17) at the ECAC, and 11th (out of 47) at the New England Championship.
Looking back on the fall season co-Captain MacKenzie Hurd '98 said, "We didn't play that well. This season was more of a learning experience. We needed it to get comfortable."
Co-Captain Steve Sugarman '97 agreed. "Although the results weren't as good as we'd expected, we needed this season to gain experience."
Rookie Jon Heaton '99 added, "We became too mechanical."
As cited by Sugarman, Coach Bill Johnson, and every other team member, lack of experience proved to be the team's major hindrance this fall season.
"We are still young, "Johnson said. "It's kind of difficult. We can't just go out there and try to beat the field."
Now with the insightful fall season behind them, the team feels confident with their return come spring. Captains Sugarman and Hurd and Jay Lavender '97 are headed to sunny San Diego this winter, where they hope to play frequently and keep their game in shape.
"We are psyched for spring," Hurd said. "At the same time, we're going to relax and let things happen."
After the team returns from their spring trip out west, they will compete in five spring tournaments. Both captains look to the Ivies as the tournament to win in the spring.
"We're going to surprise a lot of teams in the spring," Johnson said. "We have the ability to win a big one."
Soccer (6-11, 3-4 Ivy)
The men's soccer team was able to reverse a dismal 0-6 start and put together a winning second half of the season to provide the building blocks for what is expected to be a breakthrough season next year.
The Big Green finished the year winning four of their last five games to post an overall record of 6-11, 3-4 in the Ivy League, putting them in fifth place.
The struggles for the Big Green in the early part of the season can be attributed to the lack of experience of the team, which had 10 freshmen as and only two seniors.
The team lost many close games in which untimely mental lapses late in the game would give them one goal losses, as was the case in early losses to Lafayette, Northeastern and Massachusetts.
The Big Green's first win of the season at Yale to open Ivy League play seemed to give the freshmen and the rest of the team a new level of confidence that in turn lifted the team's level of play. The Big Green went on to challenge nationally-ranked Ivy opponents Brown and Cornell before falling to both teams by one goal.
In winning four of their last five, the Big Green was able do it by winning on the road, gaining road victories over Maine, Penn and the University of New Hampshire. The other victory was a 4-2 victory over Harvard at Chase Field.
Although the Big Green are losing their top scorer, Hunter Paschall '96 and Captain Jon Bosacco '96, to graduation, the squad should be much improved entering next year as they prepare to challenge for the Ivy League title.
David Moran '96 should return from a knee injury to anchor the team's defense, while Augie Lopez '97, who scored goals in each of the four victories at the end of the season, will try to replace the scoring punch of Paschall, who led the team with 10 goals.
Midfielder Methembe Ndlovu '97 will solidify the team's play at midfield, while freshmen such as Matt Nyman, Bob Meyer, Alan Lemley and Gareth Jones will also be expected to contribute.
Tennis (4-1, 0-0 Ivy)
Abundant with talented freshman, the men's tennis team won both dual competitions this fall, but focused upon on a "fall season of individual competition" said Assistant Coach Dave Jones.
The individual tournaments helped mature the freshmen for the spring season.
"We used the fall to see how the freshman were, our fall was pretty successful..." said Jones. "We did what we expected to do."
In the big tournaments Dartmouth had an up and down season. They upheld their third seeding in the ECACs, making it to the semifinals, but had a disappointing result at the Rolex Championship.
Jones said the team, lead by captain Holden Spaht '96 and number one singles player Jim Rich '96, are looking forward to the spring season. "We can't wait for it to start."