Soccer beats up on Providence
The No. 11 ranked men's soccer team defeated Providence College 3-1 in a rather slow match Tuesday afternoon at Chase Field. Freshmen forwards Brad Christof '01 and Nicholas Magnuson '01 stepped up for the Green as Christof had a goal and an assist, while Magnuson added an assist. The Big Green improved the record to 9-2-3 overall.
Ranked No. 1 in New England, the Big Green was a huge favorite to win the match against Providence, who had lost their last seven games. But Providence fought hard against a sluggish-looking Dartmouth squad Dartmouth had to play without tri-captain Brendan Reidy '99 who received a red card in the last game, which seemed to cause confusion.
"Playing without Reidy was hard, but soccer is a team sport," Head Coach Fran O'Leary said. "Today, the whole squad had to stepped up."
For Dartmouth, the only player that had to keep an eye on was Friar's lone star Juan Acevedo. The senior midfielder had 17 points entering the game while no other player has double-digit points.
That proved to be a toughy task. Acevedo scored just seven minutes into the game for 1-0 lead. From a scramble in front of the goal, Acevedo lobbed the ball over Big Green goalkeeper Matt Streng's '98 head. The senior tri-captain Streng started in only his second game of the season.
"I rested (Matt) Nyman '99 to prepare for the next two important games," O'Leary said. "Streng has done a terrific job as a captain and I wanted to reward him."
After a hard-fought game against Harvard just two days ago, Acevedo's goal was a necessary wake-up call to the Big Green.
Chris Dedicik '99 scored the first goal for the Big Green. 30 minutes into the contest, Dedicik nailed the second rebound shot after Friar goalie Christ Tate made the save on Christof's shot. It was Dedicik's second straight game with a goal, and the junior forward now leads the Green with four goals and ten points. Christof was credited for an assist.
With eight minutes left in the first half, Christof made a speedy dribble in the middle and beat a Friar defender and the goalie for the second goal of his collegiate career. The goal lifted Dartmouth to a 2-1 lead.
"The ball just came into my legs," Christof said. "Providence defenders gave me some space to move around."
Dartmouth, after finishing the first half with one-goal lead, came back strong in the second half.
At 49:35, Matt Blanton '98 made an acrobatic diving head shot crossed by freshman forward Magnuson. Magnuson dribbled on the right and managed to give a perfect cross over a Friar defender. Blanton ran all the way from left halfback position to make the goal to give Dartmouth a comfortable 3-1 edge.
Blanton, making just his third appearance of the season, entered the game after half time. The senior back, playing aggressively on defense, managed to score his second career goal "I just hit it," Blanton said. "It was a good cross from Nick (Magnuson)."
Although having more than half a dozen near-goal situations, Dartmouth couldn't find the net any more as Providence goalie Daniel Pires made several big saves.
The Big Green played decently for the rest of the game and managed to gain their second win in three days. But playing against the worst team in Big East Conference, Dartmouth should have gotten more goals.
Dartmouth is now 9-0-1 against Providence since 1986
The Big Green have two games left in the season, both against Ivy League rivals. The Green, still undefeated in the Ivy League with a 4-1-0 record, will play at Columbia on Saturday.
The last game Dartmouth won at Columbia was in 1975. "Most players weren't even born yet," O'Leary said.
"We have to raise performance from today," O'Leary said. "Otherwise, we will be on the other side of the game."
Dartmouth hosts second-place Brown on Nov. 16 for a potential Ivy League Championship match. If Dartmouth wins at Columbia on Saturday, the Big Green will only need a tie against Brown.
Brown must face Harvard this Saturday though. If Brown loses or ties against the Crimson and Dartmouth beats Columbia, the title will go to Dartmouth regardless of the outcome in the season finale against the Bears.