Women's soccer faces key game
Bottom of the ninth, two outs, seventh game of the World Series, Dartmouth College women's soccer team up to bat. Well, almost.
The Big Green have reached the point in the season where a single play could end or prolong their chances of playing another game. With only two games remaining, they must win both to guarantee at least a tie for the Ivy League crown. The Green take on the Harvard Crimson this Sunday at 12 p.m. as a part of Homecoming weekend.
All of the teams in the Ivy League have one game remaining, with the Penn Quakers, the Crimson and the Big Green knotted atop the standings at 4-1. Penn has defeated Dartmouth, and Harvard has defeated Penn, so a Dartmouth win on Sunday would eliminate the Crimson from Ivy title contention.
But a Dartmouth loss this Sunday would eliminate the Green completely from any possibility of an Ivy League title or a bid to the NCAA tournament. Penn plays Yale, the fourth-place team in the league, and Princeton the next two weeks, two games which the Quakers could easily win but also easily lose.
Yale gave Harvard its only loss of the season, but would need an upset of Penn to give them any hope of forging a tie for the league crown as they are currently 3-2.
Dartmouth is 0-2-1 against nationally ranked teams, which doesn't bode well for the Big Green, as the Crimson are ranked #20. Harvard is ranked 4th in New England and the Green are right behind them at #5.
The Crimson are, therefore, being tabbed as the favorite, but the Green have outscored their Ivy opponents 14-3 so far this season.
Because of the recent 1-2-1 skid suffered by the Green, their record has dropped to 7-6-2 making it almost completely improbable that they would gain an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they not win the Ivy crown.
The Green suffered their most recent loss at Boston University on Wednesday night by a score of 1-0 when Karen Tabor put a shot past Dartmouth goalkeeper Kristin Luckenbill '01 in the 30th minute. Luckenbill has been a clutch player all season, as she is ranked 5th in the nation with a 0.51 goals against average.
Next weekend Dartmouth finishes their regular season at Columbia and with a win over both the Crimson and the Lions would capture a share of the Ivy League crown.
Sunday's game against Harvard also marks the last home game for the year and Senior Day -- where Betsy Dobbin, Annie Eckstein, and Michelyne Pinard will be honored.
Dobbin seemed confident about the big game. "I think everyone has a very good feeling that we will pull through on top this year. This is our last Ivy big Ivy game and I know everyone will come out fired up for it. I would say that chances are pretty high this year for us to come home with an Ivy Title."