Big Green takes on Bears for potential share of Ivy title

by Brad Limpert | 11/15/02 6:00am

The men's soccer team has only one thing left to do during its regular season campaign, and that is to take care of Brown.

For the second time in three years, all the chips get placed on the table as Dartmouth (8-7-1, 4-1-1 Ivy) and Brown (5-7-4, 1-3-2 Ivy) meet with the Ivy League title still on the line.

Unlike two years ago, however, Brown has no shot at the championship. Instead, a Big Green win coupled with a Penn loss to Harvard would allow Dartmouth to earn a share of the crown. The importance of Saturday's game is not lost on anyone associated with the Big Green.

"It's no secret how important this game is to us," Matt Miler '03 said. "Personally, it's the biggest game of my life; the last chance to play at Dartmouth and playing for the Ivy League championship too. I couldn't ask for more, and I can't wait to let it all hang out."

Brown enters its season finale on a three-game losing skid, including a pair of 1-0 losses to Yale and Penn.

No member of the Dartmouth team has ever defeated Brown, and the upperclassmen on the squad are still seeking revenge from the 4-0 loss the Bears handed them in Hanover two years ago. That loss cost the Big Green the Ivy League title and tomorrow Dartmouth is looking to get even.

Although the Bears have been off form this year, they've played competitively and given teams all they can handle. All of Brown's Ivy games have been decided by a goal or less and only two of the Bears' seven losses have been by more than one goal.

As an added twist, tomorrow's game will be played on the Chase practice field adjacent to the normal game field. The regular game field is unplayable due to an unseasonably wet fall.

"Field three will be tight, but both teams have to deal with it and we have the experience of playing on it before," Miller said.

Regarding the fans, Miller added that it might be the perfect setting for a raucous season finale.

"I actually think it may even provide a better atmosphere for the game with the way the crowd can turn around and watch from the top row of the bleachers and really feel right on top of the field. Should be a heckler's dream."

Hopefully those heckles will be about a Big Green win and a team getting a share of the Ivy championship with an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament on the horizon.

Additionally, the team is asking all fans to bring a canned good to the game to help the Upper Valley food banks as they prepare for the holiday season.

Kick-off tomorrow is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. as the men's program also gets set to thank the nine members of the Class of 2003 on their last home game.

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