Ivy champion soccer squad begins NCAA tournament

by Nedko Kyuchukov | 11/19/04 6:00am

After winning the Ivy League title Sunday with a 2-1 defeat of Brown, the Dartmouth men's soccer team still has much to do before the season's close. The Big Green secured their first NCAA bid since 2000; now, they want to prove that they can match the best in the country. In the first round of the NCAA tournament today, Dartmouth (7-3-6, 5-0-2 Ivy League) will face the Boston University Terriers (10-7-2).

Dartmouth, which became the first team in Ancient Eight history this year to go from eighth place to first in the span of one season, holds a solid record against BU. The teams have met only once in the NCAA tournament, as the 1997 campaign saw the Big Green trash their opponents 5-1 at home. Dartmouth also holds a 4-3-2 advantage in the all-time series against Boston University.

Nonetheless, Big Green head coach Jeff Cook said he won't let past results interfere with his judgment. "We have a great deal of respect for BU," he said. "We've seen them play in the America East tournament and we expect a close game."

The two teams were scheduled to play earlier this season on Sept. 9 in Hanover, but the game was cancelled due to heavy, sustained rain and flooding.

Dartmouth, who will field seven All-Ivy first- or second-team players, will once again rely on strong defense to overcome BU. The back formation that owns a 0.73 goals-against-average overall this season will once again be lead by co-captain Oliver Harker-Smith '05, who was unanimously chosen by the Ivy League's coaches as a first-team All-Ivy player.

Goalkeeper Rowan Anders '07, one of the two sophomores on the first All-Ivy team, will organize the defense that also features second-team All-Ivy member Lucas Richardson '07. Up front, Dartmouth will count on team goal scorer Mark Limpert '07, the other sophomore in the All-Ivy first team formation.

The winner of the Dartmouth-Boston University clash will play against No. 11 St. John's in Jamaica, N.Y. on Tuesday, Nov. 23.

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