Men's soccer bounces back for victory at Holy Cross

by Nedko Kyuchukov | 11/5/03 6:00am

The Big Green men's soccer team secured a much-needed victory yesterday afternoon, defeating Holy Cross, 3-2, after a dramatic second half comeback led by the team's seniors.

The game seemed like a perfect opportunity for the team to get back on winning terms, as the Crusaders entered the game with a less-than-impressive 2-8-4 record. Holy Cross had only managed to win one of its seven home games, tying three and also losing on three occasions. However, the Crusaders entered in good form, unbeaten in their last four games, three of which were draws. Last year, Dartmouth beat Holy Cross 1-0 at Chase Field through a Matt LaBarre '04 goal eight minutes from time. Labarre would also figure into this Dartmouth win, although it would take a good deal of action to produce a winner.

The Crusaders struck first, scoring eight minutes into the game when Michael Crean scored off a pass from Chris Napolitano. Just over 20 minutes later, Holy Cross doubled its lead when freshman Chris Block took a pass from William Walker and scored the first goal of his collegiate career. When the first half ended, it looked like the beginning of another painful defeat. However, the Big Green seniors were about to take a stand and end the team's losing streak once and for all.

LaBarre started the Big Green comeback, scoring in the 52nd minute to cut the Holy Cross lead in half. The Big Green continued to push, looking for the equalizer, and the team finally found it when Damien Quinn '04 lobbed a shot over the head of Crusader keeper Richard Whipple. With ten minutes to go, the outcome had yet to be decided, and the final say would belong to the Big Green's Rob Daly '04. With 1:51 left in the game, Daly took a pass from LaBarre and put it past Whipple for the game-winner.

Dartmouth out-shot the Crusaders 8-3 in the second half, taking the pressure off Cole Glassner '07, who made his first start of the season in goal. Whipple had five saves for Holy Cross in a losing effort.

The win in Worcester helped Dartmouth bounce back from Saturday, when the team disappointed its fans by an eighth straight defeat, a 4-1 loss at the hands of Harvard at Ohiri Field.

Even though Big Green were still injury-struck, leading scorer Daly returned to the first eleven after a head injury, while co-captain Tom Billings '03 also started the match, despite suffering from a torn ACL.

The Crimson grabbed the lead with 22 minutes gone in the first half, after Harvard freshman Matt Hoff knocked the ball away from Big Green keeper Rowan Anders '07 and sophomore Nicholas Tornaritis had no problems scoring off the loose ball. Ten minutes later, senior Kevin Ara doubled Harvard's lead with a well-executed free-kick.

Dartmouth answered less than a minute later. Amar Takhar '06 took control of a nice pass by Quinn and beat Harvard sophomore keeper Ryan Johnson for the first goal of his Dartmouth career and Quinn's fourth assist of the season. Just moments later, the Big Green players thought they had leveled the score, only to see the assistant raising his flag for an offside. Dartmouth found itself two goals behind again a minute before half-time, as Tornaritis set up Hoff. The Big Green's hopes were shattered when, only two minutes into the second half, junior Zach Chandis found freshman Charles Altchek for his second goal of the season and Chandis' first career point. Harvard out shot Dartmouth 19-9 and keeper Rowan Anders had to make 7 saves to prevent an even more embarrassing result.

The Big Green returns to action on Saturday, when the Big Red of Cornell will travel to Hanover. Cornell is on a losing streak of its own, having fallen to Syracuse, Brown, Oneonta and Princeton, and the Big Green will try to make it five in a row on Senior Day at Chase Field. The game starts at 1:30 p.m.