Field hockey denied bid to field of sixteen
Last night the bubble burst on the Dartmouth field hockey team. The Big Green (13-4, 5-2 Ivy) were left out of the 16-team field chosen by the NCAA selection committee. The women were hoping that a seven-game winning streak to end the season and a strong non-conference schedule with several impressive wins would be enough to impress the committee, but it was apparently not enough. Left out of the NCAA field, the Big Green will have to settle for an invitation to the four-team ECAC tournament.
"Considering it was a long-shot to get in, we're not too down," said Caitlin Barrett '04, "just frustrated after working hard and being so successful at the end of the season."
Lauren Welsh '03, echoed the upbeat sentiments of her teammate. "Getting a bid to the NCAAs would have been awesome, and a first for us. We all know we've accomplished some great things this season and if the NCAAs aren't for us, then we'll just have to take the ECAC championship."
The field to the ECAC tournament will be announced later today and the odds of Dartmouth being left out of that tournament are similar to the odds of Mariano Rivera blowing a save oops, a bad analogy to all those bitter Yankee fans. The only uncertainty is whether or not the ECACs will be held in Hanover. The prospect of hosting the tournament for the second straight year is appealing to Welsh.
"To host the ECACs in Hanover would psyche us up that much more whomever we play, I think we'll come out with a mission," Welsh said.
A mission that includes winning a tournament that they lost in the finals of last year to Columbia.
"We're excited to get the chance to avenge last year's loss in the finals," noted Barrett.
In what will be her final two games in a Big Green uniform, co-captain Kirsten Anderson '02 is hoping to make one last impression on Dartmouth field hockey.
"This weekend gives us a chance to send a message about our program," she said. "We are trying to play in a way this weekend that will ensure that the people returning next year will have an opportunity to play in the NCAA tournament. This year we fell a step short, but I hope my teammates can continue to move the program upward so that next year we can feel the excitement that we were all looking for tonight."