A Team Looking to Regroup
The Dartmouth women's soccer team is taking a much-needed break this weekend.
Returning home from a disappointing loss to the Terriers of Boston University on Wednesday, the Big Green now has its first extended rest during what has thus far been a frustrating season, one marked by a lack of scoring prowess.
Among those most thankful for the chance to recover are sophomores Lea Kiefer and Kelly Partridge.
Pulled muscles sidelined both players for the BU game, forcing them to watch from the stands as the Terriers broke through the Big Green defense to win 2-0.
After an encouraging showing in a scoreless tie at Yale last weekend, the Dartmouth women took the field in Boston hoping to continue the smart play they showed against the Bulldogs, only to walk off the pitch after 90 minutes with another loss and a frustrating weight on their shoulders.
Of the recent frustration, junior defender Meaghan Kelly said: "I think one of the main reasons for the disappointment of the past few games has been a lack of mental toughness and focus for 90 minutes.
"We haven't played hard, with desire, until half of the game is over or we get scored on."
Showing promise from the start of preseason, this year's team has displayed all the key ingredients that have made past squads so successful in national arenas.
Like teams of the past, this incarnation has quick attackers like Laura Ashley '03, intelligent playmakers at the midfield like Mary McVeigh '03, gutsy defenders like Shannon Agner '02 and a pervading team unity.
Still, it hasn't been enough to put points on the board thus far this season.
Despite the consistent backstopping efforts of Big Green keepers Julia Shields, a sophomore, and Anne Marbarger, a freshman, both have found themselves digging the ball out of the back of their own nets more often than they have celebrated a teammate's goal on the opposite side of the field.
Now, the team has a week-long break to rest, reflect and prepare for the upcoming test at Syracuse in Upstate N.Y. next Wednesday.
Already the players of the Dartmouth Women's Soccer team have begun to analyze the losses.
Said Kelly: "I think this weekend is a good opportunity for us to regain our focus and come out for Syracuse with pride and show what we are capable of doing."