Soccer hosts Boston U. in first round of NCAA tourney
After a week to shake off the disappointment of their overtime loss to Brown, the Big Green men's soccer team embarks upon the season that matters, the NCAA tournament. The Big Green, who earned an at-large bid to the 32-team field, will host Boston University Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Chase Field.
It is the first time since 1992 that the Big Green have competed in the NCAA tournament.
"Playing a tournament game at home has got the whole team very excited," forward Chris Dedicik '99 said. "I think that we all feel privileged to have the chance to extend our season, and play together for a little longer."
Dartmouth and the Terriers battled to a 1-1 tie on Sep. 28 in a game played at Middlesex School in Massachusetts. Defenseman Tui'One Faleafa '99 provided the lone Big Green goal in a game that saw
outplay the Terriers.
"Our game with them was one of the best matches I've ever been a part of at this level," Head Coach Fran O'Leary said.
"They are a fine side and have come on strong lately after struggling a bit at mid-season. I also think they have the most firepower in the region, so it will truly be strength on strength," he said.
Unfortunately for the team and their fans, weather once again could be a factor in not only the outcome of the contest, but the location as well.
One week ago, the title match against Brown was moved away despite efforts to clear the field of snowfall on Saturday night. As another powerful storm churns towards the East Coast, the chance of cancelling the game in Hanover looms as a possibility.
While the forecast calls for the possibility of flurries at game time, the weather on Saturday is of greater importance. A mixture of rain and snow is expected throughout the day and night. If the field is left unplayable, the Big Green could once again face the movement of the game to a neutral site in New England, but not unless the field adjacent to Chase Field, known to handle inclement weather better, is also unavailable for play. The decision on where the game will be played will be made at 8 a.m., Sunday morning.
"We'll be prepared to play anywhere under any weather conditions," Dedicik said.
Tickets for Sunday's contest are $5 for students, $7 for adults. Due to the uncertainty caused by the weather, tickets will not go on sale until the day of the game.
Should the Big Green, who finished the season No. 1 in New England, advance to the second round, they will face the winner of the Rider-Southern Methodist contest over Thanksgiving weekend. SMU finished the season ranked No. 2 in the nation. Assuming the Mustangs win in the first round, Dartmouth would have to travel to Dallas for their next matchup.