Old age and experience won out yesterday afternoon, as the women's soccer team dismantled a young Columbia Lions team 2-0 at Chase Field.
It was the battle between a strong Dartmouth soccer program that for the past four years has been a symbol of Ivy dominance and a young Columbia program that until this year has consistently held a place in the Ivy League cellar.
It was the battle between two leading scorers -- Dartmouth's Jenna Kurowski '97 who has led the Big Green this season with 14 goals and five total points (third in the league) and Columbia's Tosh Forde who lead the league in scoring with 44 points.
And finally, it was the battle between nine Dartmouth seniors who played in their final regular season game and seven Columbia freshmen who have three years left of looking ahead.
But by the time 90 minutes had passed by on a soggy Chase Field it became obvious that the Dartmouth women were the teachers; the Columbia youngsters were the students; and there still was a lot more to be learned.
Dartmouth outshot Columbia 25-2, as Big Green goalie Annie Eckstein '98 needed to make only one save to earn the win.
"I think we played well," Captain Holly Thomas '97 said. "We didn't finish as well as we can, but we put forth a good effort so that's important."
Melissa McBean '97 struck first for Dartmouth 11:38 into the first half when she took a pass from Kate Andrews '96 and rocketed in a shot from the right side. McBean has been red hot lately for the Big Green, as she has earned a point in eight of the last nine games and has 10 goals on the season.
By the end of the first half, Dartmouth led 1-0, and Columbia had failed to take a shot on goal.
Seventeen minutes into the second half, Dartmouth secured the win when Cindy Goodwin '97 fed a pass to Jessica Post '99 who shot in a goal past Lions' keeper Alison Ahern.
The Dartmouth seniors -- which consist of seven '97s and two '96s who sat out one season because of injuries -- played with the poise and confidence that four-year veterans are expected to play with.
"We started the game with all the seniors, and we ended the game with all the seniors," Thomas said. "It was said, but at the same time it was fun. Everyone had fun and played well."
It was the 1997 class that will be remembered as the class who led the Big Green soccer program to success, for it was during their freshman year under the leadership of former Coach Steve Swanson that Dartmouth won the Ivy League title.
It was the 1997 class who will go down in the record books with numerous All-Americans and All-Ivies, league-leading scorers and top defenders.
And finally, it was the 1997 class who after a tough season last year pulled the Dartmouth program back together this year even without the leadership of their coach and friend, Swanson.
Dartmouth will find out today whether or not they will receive a coveted bid into the 32-team NCAA Tournament. If so, the Big Green will take to the field again this weekend. The game would be away but the future opponent is still not known.