Dartmouth to meet UW-Milwaukee
Choruses of groans greeted each commercial break as the members of the women's soccer team huddled together in front of a TV in the Boss Tennis Center, waiting for their bracket to be announced.
With only 16 teams left, Dartmouth's bracket was finally shown on the screen and a team no one had really considered appeared: the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. The Big Green and the Panthers have never before faced each other on the pitch.
The Panthers, who went 15-4 this season, received an automatic bid after winning the Horizon League Championship. They recorded a record 13 shut outs this season and did not allow a goal in league play.
The big game will take place this Friday at Marquette University in far away Wisconsin.
Other teams to watch for in Dartmouth's bracket include the seventh seeded Notre Dame team and the number two team in the tournament, Santa Clara.
Dartmouth was also featured as a team to watch, and several clips highlighted the goals scored by Annie Gibson '03 and Devon Haskell '03 in previous games.
"We've had a lot of ups and downs this season, but we are starting to hit our peak," commented Gibson. "We have a tough bracket, but it should be fun and exciting."
This year's NCAA field was expanded from 48 to 64 teams. Sixteen teams will be making their first appearances in the tournament this year, but both UConn and UNC have appeared in all 20 of the tournaments played in history.
The semifinals and the finals, the Final Four if you will, will take place this year on December 7th and 9th in Dallas, Texas at Southern Methodist University.
Also representing the Ivy League in the tournament will be Princeton, Penn and Harvard. Princeton will play Loyola, Harvard will face Hartford and Penn squares off against Villanova.
Though Princeton received the Ivy League's automatic bid, the expanded field allowed for an usually high number of representatives from the Ancient Eight this year.
Dartmouth is ready. Although it has been a rough season of hard-nosed soccer, the Big Green women have their eyes on the prize.
"The resilience of this team is amazing," Janet Light '04 said. "We've had something like eight broken bones and several more muscle injuries, but still managed to battle our way to the top. The latest turn of events, winning the Ivies, was very unexpected, but very well deserved. We never stopped believing in ourselves."