Men's soccer faces Brown for Ivy title, tournament bid
Dartmouth men's soccer team (9-2-4), ranked 10th in the nation by the latest coaches' poll, faces a championship-battle against second-place Brown this Sunday at Chase Field.
While three teams, Dartmouth(4-0-2 Ivy), Brown (4-1-1 Ivy) and Yale (4-1-1 Ivy) remain in the title hunt, the Big Green control their own destiny. Dartmouth can win the league with either a win or a tie against the Bears.
A win would give Dartmouth the title outright and the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament that the Big Green covet. A tie on the other hand would give Yale a chance to join the Big Green atop the Ivy League standings and share the championship. However, the Big Green would get the NCAA berth by virtue of the fact that they knocked off the Bulldogs, 1-0 in New Haven.
No scenario allows for a Dartmouth title if they lose, and they could wind up finishing as low as third in the standings.
Dartmouth didn't get much help from Cornell the past weekend, as then-third-placed the Bulldogs defeated the Big Red, 1-0 in overtime. But Brown hurt themselves on Tuesday night by tying Harvard,2-2. As a result, Brown can finish first only if Yale loses at Princeton on Saturday and the Bears knock off the Big Green on Sunday.
Yale must win at Princeton and hope Brown defeats Dartmouth to win the title. In that case, Yale would get the bid because
The Big Green will once again try to win based on their strong defensive play, led by outstanding goalkeeper Matt Nyman '99. With his shut out at Columbia last weekend, Nyman now has a goals against average (GAA) of 0.53, fourth in the nation. Nyman still has a chance to catch up to the school record of 0.50 GAA which was set back in 1954 by Clem Malin '56.
Entereing the game with eight shutouts, Nyman has a chance to set a new school record for single season shutouts against the Bears. The previous record is eight which was set in 1986 by John Scott '88.
"I don't feel anyone on the team is looking at the Brown game any differently than any other game we've played this year," Nyman said. "We're going into the game as the 10th ranked team in the nation and Brown is not ranked at all. So we are going into the game with a lot of confidence and knowing that we can beat them and win the Ivy title outright."
Although the tie at Columbia last weekend was rather disappointing, Dartmouth still has the best chance among the three teams.
"The tie against Columbia only means that this weekend against Brown is all that more important," tri-captain Keith Zadourian '98 said.
The Big Green has given up the first goal in regulation five times this season, and in four of them has come back to win, a trend they would like to change on Sunday.
"We need to get both (offense and defense) right for a tough game this weekend against Brown," tri-captain Matt Streng '98 said.
Dartmouth will be ready.
"We hope to finish off a memorable regular season with a victory over Brown," Head Coach Fran O'Leary said.