Women's soccer team starts season strongly
The Dartmouth women's soccer team has some new faces but it's still performing like the team that went 4-1 at the close of last season. Under the leadership of new head coach Erica Walsh, the team has jumped out to a 3-1 start -- a vast improvement over its abysmal 1-4 beginning last fall.
"I think our fearlessness in the last four games has raised our game to a higher level," said Mary McVeigh '03. "Fearlessness in challenging for every ball, in competing among the best in the nation, in playing teams with far more games under their belt."
The most recent victory was a 3-0 defeat of Boston University this past Wednesday evening.
Coming off a 9-1 thrashing of Central Connecticut on Sunday, Laura Trouille '03 kept the offense coming, with a goal just over six minutes into the game. The Big Green offense finally slowed down for a while and did not score again until the second half when Gretchen Bell '01 nailed in a shot from 30 yards out.
Jamie Lang '02 scored the final goal of the game off an assist from Jessica Post '00 at the 70-minute mark. Ace goalkeeper Kristin Luckenbill '01 made four stops on the day for her first shutout of the season.
The team's offense has proven its potency over the first three games of the season as well. In its season opener, Dartmouth showed its explosiveness by scoring two goals within two minutes of each other to earn a 2-1 victory over UNH. The team scored nine times on Central Connecticut, the most the team has scored since defeating Pennsylvania 9-0 11 years ago.
Even in defeat Dartmouth was impressive; the women actually outshot Nebraska, an NCAA championship quarterfinalist last year, 12-10 in a losing effort.
"I was so proud of every single one of my teammates during and after the Nebraska game," McVeigh said. "We didn't know exactly what to expect going in but I thought we rose to the occasion and showed that we can compete with those teams."
From last season the team was weakened defensively by the loss of Katie Roda '00 and Christine Castro '00 to graduation. But the seasoned Luckenbill certainly makes the Dartmouth defense difficult to puncture.
Up next for Dartmouth will be the Princeton Tigers who have yet to surrender a goal this season and are 3-0. The game will certainly be an important determining factor as to who claims the Ivy League title this year. It will also likely be an offensive shootout since Princeton and Dartmouth and number one and two in the Ivy League offensively.