Soccer storms back against Columbia, falls to UNH

by Nedko Kyuchukov | 10/28/04 5:00am

The past four days have brought mixed emotions to Dartmouth's men's soccer team. The successful squad extended its streak of 10 unbeaten games Saturday after the 2-1 defeat of Columbia. On Tuesday, however, state rival UNH ended the streak with a 1-0 victory over the Big Green.

P.J. Scheufele '06 was the hero of Saturday's game at Baker Field in New York City, scoring a goal and creating the other one. However, there was no dream start of the game for the Big Green players.

Columbia's Jorrell Best opened the score 29 minutes into the game with a low shot that found the far corner of the net. The equalizer came in the 55th minute, when Scott Darci '05 pressured well and won the ball from a Columbia defender. After his shot was blocked, the ball bounced to the feet of Scheufele, who sent it into the net from 10 yards out.

"I was in the right place at the right time," said Scheufele about his goal.

Six minutes from time, it looked as though it would be yet another draw for the Big Green.

Scheufele said, "The thought of yet another draw was not going through my mind. With six minutes to go I was hoping we could press forward to get the win in regulation."

That is exactly what happened, as a classy touch by Darnell Nance '05 secured the win for Dartmouth. Scheufele kicked a left-flank free kick from 35 yards to Nance, who was just inside the penalty mark. Reaching around a defender, he was able to flick the ball with the outside of his foot and send it into the net for the winner.

"It was a tremendous come-from-behind win for us," said Big Green head coach Jeff Cook after the game. "It keeps us alive in the Ivy race."

The disappointment for the team came Tuesday, when Dartmouth hosted state rival UNH at Chase Field. In a very well-known scenario, the game was destined for a draw with 10 minutes left on the clock. However, UNH's Tyler Jackson scored off a free kick in the 83rd minute to snap Dartmouth's 10-game unbeaten streak and hand the Big Green its first defeat since the season opener.

The free kick came after co-captain Oliver Harker-Smith '05 committed a foul at the top of the box and was booked for it. UNH's Matt DeCastro just touched the ball and Jackson shot it into the right corner of the goal.

"I have a lot of confidence in our side coming into the last few games of the season," said Scheufele after the game. "We have a good chance to take the Ivy League title this year if we perform to our capabilities, starting with Harvard on homecoming Sunday. I hope to do whatever I can to help get us there."

Dartmouth, now 4-2-6 (2-0-2 in the Ivy League) hosts Harvard on Sunday. This will be a battle for the first place, as the two teams are currently joint leaders, together with Yale.

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