Women's lacrosse claims share of ninth straight Ivy title
On Wednesday night, the Dartmouth women's lacrosse team secured at least a share of its ninth Ivy League title in team history. Tomorrow afternoon at Scully-Fahey field, the business at hand turns to ensuring that perennial rival Princeton doesn't get a piece of that crown.
After cruising past Harvard 15-3, the Big Green sits atop the Ivy League at 6-0 (9-2 overall) and looks to win the league outright and dethrone the defending champion Tigers (4-1 Ivy, 9-4 overall).
The Big Green women wasted no time putting it to the Crimson in their midweek clash under the lights at Scully-Fahey. Sarah Sanborn '05 netted the game's first goal less than a minute into the contest and by halftime, Dartmouth was coasting easily with an 8-1 advantage.
"One of our goals for yesterday's game was to come ready to play and to take control of the tempo in the first half," Kate Killen '04 said. "There were definitely times when we could have taken better care of the ball but the energy and overall team effort are what helped keep us on top. Our defense worked exceptionally well together and our attack had some really great breaks."
Co-captain Whitney Jamison '03 led the way with a hat trick and two assists, while Katieanne Christian '05 showed why she was named to the weekly Ivy League Honor Roll with a hat trick of her own.
Co-captain Lana Smith '04 and Molly Jenkins '04 both scored two goals and tallied two assists apiece and two goals each from Killen and Casey Hazel '06 rounded out the Dartmouth attack.
While the going was easy on Wednesday night, everyone knows Saturday's showdown with Princeton will be much different. The 1 p.m. contest will feature a clash between the two teams that have been the class of the league for the last decade.
The defending Ivy and national champion Tigers will come to Hanover determined not to let their championship reign come to an end without a fight. After slipping earlier in the year against Yale, tomorrow's game is a must-win for Princeton's title hopes. For Dartmouth, it will be chance to regain a title the Big Green lost last year and clinch an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
"It's going to be a great game," head coach Amy Patton said. "These are two very strong teams that have a lot on the line. We're trying to win the title outright, and Princeton is trying to gain a share. For the last eight or so years, this game has decided the Ivy League race. It's going to be a battle."
Besides featuring the sixth (Dartmouth) and seventh (Princeton) ranked teams in the nation, it is also a clash between the two best offenses in the Ivy League. The challenge for the Big Green will be to break down the Tigers defense with 3.25 goals against average that is ranked first in the Ivy League.
With goalie Devon Wills '06 minding the net for the Big Green, Dartmouth should be poised to weather the Princeton attack. Following her performances last week, Wills was named Ivy League defensive player of the week for the second time this season.
"As long as we come out against Princeton with the same heart and desire we have had all season long there's no doubt we'll come out with a 'W'," Killen said.
Face-off for Saturday's showdown is set for 1 p.m. at Scully-Fahey Field.