Men's soccer bedeviled by Duke as slump continues
The Dartmouth men's soccer team stumbled to yet another defeat, the Big Green's fifth in a row, falling 4-0 to Duke on Tuesday evening at the Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C. The Blue Devils' emphatic performance in the second half earned them the win, as Duke scored four goals with no answer from the Big Green.
While the Blue Devils had won their last two games, Duke certainly seemed a beatable opponent, coming into the game with a modest record of 4-8-1. Dartmouth, 4-4-2 before the game, entered the game with a fairly defensive line-up, with Rob Daly '04 being the only threat for the Duke defense to focus on. Big Green coach Jeff Cook, who had to deal with an injury crisis in the last few games, handed midfielder Peter Savidis '06 his first game of the season after a bad injury.
Even though the Blue Devils dominated the first half, outshooting Dartmouth 9-3, the deadlock remained unbroken at the half time-whistle. Big Green keeper Scott Feighner '06, who replaced Rowan Anders '07 in goal, made four saves to deny the Duke forwards. The Blue Devils started the second half with great enthusiasm and it paid off after only 45 seconds of play, when junior Nigi Adogwa received a pass from sophomore Danny Kramer. Dartmouth was already 2-0 down at 61:03 when senior Justin Bodiya received the ball from freshman Chris Loftus and rebounded his initial effort, saved by Feighner, to score from close range. Only six minutes later Duke senior Jordan Cila headed in after Feighner had once again saved the first shot by Adogwa. Senior Danny Wymer nailed the last one in Dartmouth's coffin at the 72 minute mark with a 30-yard effort from a Cila pass.
Dartmouth, currently 4-5-2, recorded its third straight game without scoring after beginning the season with 15 goals in six games. This was also Dartmouth's worst defensive performance from the beginning of the season, letting in four goals for the first time. Meanwhile, Duke improved to 5-8-1 and recorded their second shutout in the last three games and also matched their season high with four goals on the night.
The Big Green will play Columbia in a double-header at the Chase Field on Sunday, with the women's soccer teams playing at 11:00 a.m., with the men's teams following them at 1:30 p.m.. Columbia, undefeated in its last four games, currently holds a 7-3-1 record (1-1-1 Ivy), making them a tough opponent for the Big Green. In their last game, the Lions defeated eighth-ranked Fairleigh Dickinson through a goal by sophomore Tyler Birch. The goal came from a set piece, which indicates that the Big Green defense will have to be very careful with that element of the play on Sunday. Columbia also poses a major threat on defense, as the Lions allow an Ivy-low 0.81 goals per game. If Dartmouth hopes to avoid its fourth straight shutout, the Big Green men will have to work hard to beat the Columbia defense. Dartmouth will try to record its first Ivy league win this season on Sunday.