Men's soccer's offensive woes continue in loss to BC

by Brad Limpert | 10/11/02 5:00am

Wednesday afternoon Boston College showed the Dartmouth men's soccer team what can happen when you capitalize on early chances. The Eagles (7-2) converted three chances in the first 19 minutes of action as they cruised to a 4-0 victory over the Big Green (2-6, 1-1 Ivy).

Looking to cure its offensive woes, Dartmouth shuffled its starting line-up in hopes of generating some desperately needed goals.

Striker Seth Eaton '04 moved to right back to give the Big Green a more offensive posture from back to front. Unfortunately, while it opened up the attack, it left the Big Green exposed in the back and offered BC striker Casey Schmidt an early opportunity to get the Eagles on the board.

In the seventh minute, John Krause sent a through ball that found Schmidt in behind the Dartmouth defense. Collecting the ball just outside of the penalty area, Schmidt beat keeper Doug Carr '03 to put the Eagles up 1-0.

Just six minutes later, Schmidt broke free along the right side going one-on-one against Carr and slotted home another goal. Schmidt completed the hat trick in the 19th minute with a shot to the far post from 15 yards out.

"We switched a few things up to try and boost our offense," Scott Lish '03 said. "But unfortunately in trying to go forward, our defensive shape suffered and we were exposed in the back."

Three goals up with just 20 minutes gone by, the Eagles put it on cruise control as a gritty Big Green squad tried to claw its way back in the game. As has been the frustrating trend, Dartmouth continued to generate offensive chances but couldn't crack what seems to be a brick wall standing in front of its goal.

Following a corner kick, a shot by Matt Miller '03 late in the first half was cleared off the line by a BC defender, and moments later a bicycle kick by Rob Daly '04 went just wide.

The second half provided more of the same for the Big Green. Tom Billings '03 sent a left-footed blast wide of net and BC goalie Mike Cardenas came up big with a save on a breakaway by Scott Darci '05. In fact, for the game Dartmouth out-shot Boston College by an 18-10 margin.

"We did create a lot of chances, especially late in the second half as the game started to open up," Lish said. "Their keeper made some great saves to keep us scoreless."

Next up for the Big Green is a weekend showdown with Yale. The final game in a three-game home stand, the Bulldogs travel to Hanover Sunday afternoon (2:30 p.m. at Chase Field) for what has become a must win for the Dartmouth men.

This must win for the Big Green will be no easy task as the Bulldogs enter the game with a 7-1 record (2-0 Ivy). Currently ranked 14th in the latest Soccer America poll and 17th in the coaches poll, Yale has already knocked off perennial powerhouses such as North Carolina and the University of Michigan.

Sophomore striker Lindsay Williams, the current Ivy League Player of the Week, leads the Yale attack. Williams is the team's top scorer with six goals and two assists, including both goals in the Bulldogs' 2-0 win over Cornell.

At the other end of the field, keeper Geoff Hollington is anchoring the defense with a stingy 0.90 GAA. Hollington has returned to action this season after missing all but one game last year due to a back injury.

With a 1-1 record in the league, Sunday's contest is crucial for the Big Green. A win would get the team to 2-1 and put the men right back in the hunt at the top of the standings. Falling to 1-2 in Ivy play may prove to be a hole too deep for the Big Green to climb out of and contend for the League title.

For the Big Green, the same story line continues. If its strikers can get an early goal and play with confidence, Dartmouth will be a hard team to beat. Wednesday afternoon BC showed Dartmouth what playing with a lead can do, and the Big Green will look to turn the tables and do the same to the Bulldogs on Sunday afternoon.

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