Women's soccer defeats Brown
The women's soccer team kept its season alive yesterday afternoon with a 1-0 win over the Brown Bears in the first round of the ECAC tournament.
The Big Green had lost to the Bears earlier this year and were out for revenge. With a planned attack the Dartmouth squad ousted its Ivy League rival.
Known for playing many longballs, Brown has proven to be a frustrating team for the Big Green to play. To counter this Bear style, Dartmouth moved up three players into the forward position and kept only three back.
"We were trying to keep the pressure on their defense," junior forward Jenna Kurowski said. "It really worked. I think it came together today. We played really well."
The soft and mushy field also proved to be somewhat beneficial to the Big Green since Brown was unable to get clean kicks to launch the Bears customary longballs.
"The field was pretty bad," forward Melissa McBean '97 said. "It was a big swamp. I though it might hurt us, but I guess not. I think they couldn't kick the ball long, so it helped us."
McBean also noticed the benefits of having three forwards up front.
"I had a lot more options up front," McBean said.
The new game plan was only experimented with in Tuesday's practice, but Coach Steve Swanson had faith that his squad was capable of adjusting and putting on the needed pressure.
"We did a great job," Swanson said. "We really put a lot of pressure on them. We also used both sides of the field well and moved the ball. They looked frustrated."
The first and only Dartmouth goal was set up from a pass off a free kick by Kurowski to Cindy Goodwin '97. Goodwin scored her second goal of the season off of a shot to the far corner of the goal.
The Big Green goal came with 22:27 left in the first half -- a half dominated by Dartmouth.
"We had them standing in their half of the field for most of the first half," McBean said. "We were ready to go from the start."
The dominance of the Big Green continued into the second half. Outshooting the Bears 20-2, Dartmouth never game the Brown defense a chance to breath and prevented the Bear offense from taking a single shot on goal in the second half.
"We had pressure on them the whole time," Kurowski said. "It was just basically a shooting gallery."
Dartmouth goalkeeper Heidi Hachtel stopped the only two Brown shots, while the Bear's keeper, Sarah Kelly saved 14.
"The score really was indicative of the game," Swanson said. "I don't think it was a close of a game. The players deserve a lot of credit. Every player rose to the occasion."
For Dartmouth, the win was especially sweet since the Big Green dropped two games to the Bears last season -- one of which was in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
"It was great," McBean said. "We finally beat them."
The win puts Dartmouth in the semi-finals of the ECAC tournament in which the Big Green will battle Cornell this Saturday at 1:30 p.m.. Cornell, the number two seed, will host the tournament.
Colgate, which defeated Princeton 3-1 at home yesterday afternoon on a snowy field, will play and number one seeded Monmouth University in the other semifinal game. This game will be played before Dartmouth and Cornell at 11:00 a.m.
The winners of the two games will play Sunday at 12:30 p.m. to determine the championship.
The game against Cornell will be another opportunity for the Big Green to avenge a loss suffered earlier in the season.
Dartmouth lost 3-1 to the Big Red, who placed second in the Ivy League this year behind Harvard, in an away game two weeks ago.
"I think we have a good chance," McBean said. "Hopefully we'll be a little luckier this time.
"We need to play as hard as we did today and as hard as we did when we played them the first time," McBean added. We just can't let them score as much."
Swanson, who missed the earlier Cornell game because of a family emergency, is anxious to see just what this Big Red squad possess that allowed them to beat his team.
"It's great to get another chance," Swanson said. "you don't often get second chances, so it will be good. I think we'll be ready. It's a matter of us sustaining the things we've started."
Even though the Big Green played a tough fought game yesterday and will be making the eight hour trip to Cornell tomorrow afternoon, the Dartmouth women feel they will be ready and are excited by the opportunity to come back with an ECAC title.
"We're just so glad to be going," Kurowski said. "We're glad to be playing more games and are psyched for the road trip."