Big Green prepare for title bout

by Lou Scerra | 10/30/98 6:00am

Like a little child with a sweet tooth, the Dartmouth women's soccer team has had Halloween marked off on its calendars for weeks in advance.

The Big Green, 13-1-1, will travel down to Cambridge to take on the Harvard Crimson on Ohiri Field on Saturday at 11 a.m. with the winner taking home a share of the Ivy League title.

The 22nd-ranked Crimson, like the seventh-ranked Big Green, will enter the game with a perfect 5-0 mark in the Ancient Eight in addition to a laundry list of other accolades.

No masquerade or costume can hide Harvard's experience in big-pressure situations -- they are the three-time defending champions of the Ivy League and were NCAA Tournament quarterfinalists a year ago.

Meanwhile, the Big Green have been the best team in the Ivy League all season long as well as producing victories over national powerhouses Clemson and Hartford.

The Big Green enter the game with an offense that is scary. Dartmouth dropped seven goals on Cornell last Saturday and tallied a total of ten against Brown and Princeton on the road earlier this year.

Meanwhile, the Crimson have used late-season heroics all year long, winning the majority of their contests by a single goal.

A Halloween loss to the Crimson is a frightening thought for the Big Green as Harvard would need only to grab a tie in their final contest to return home from the evening with their collective candy bags full with an return ticket to the NCAA Tournament.

On the other hand, a victory by the Big Green on All Saints' Eve would place them in the same position, needing only a tie against the Columbia Lions to give them the crown.

Against eight common opponents, the Big Green are a perfect 8-0-0 while the Crimson have racked up a 6-1-1 record. In addition, Dartmouth's wins have been dominating while Harvard has managed to simply defeat their opponents. For example, Harvard squeaked by Princeton in New Jersey by a score of 1-0 while the Green pummeled them on the road 4-0. If you want scary, the Big Green have outscored their opponents 39-7 this season.

Furthermore, the Crimson have struggled as of late, with their slim 1-0 victory over Princeton and their double-overtime victory over Vermont, who the Big Green defeated 5-2 earlier this year.

Although the Green are certainly the favorites, should they lose, they should still have their pumpkins turned into a stagecoach as the NCAA Committee should provide them with an at-large bid and a possible rematch with the Crimson.

On the other hand, a Big Green victory would all but finish off the Crimson's chances of an NCAA bid sending them home with the equivalent of several boxes of raisins -- so Dartmouth can be sure that Harvard will be bringing all sorts of tricks in hope of the ultimate treat.