Men's soccer blanks Wildcats 2-0 in Durham contest
The Dartmouth men's soccer team downed UNH 2-0 in a Granite State battle Wednesday. Midfielder Darnell Nance '06 scored both goals at Bremner Field to secure the Big Green's eighth win of the season. The team now stands at 8-2-4, 3-1-0 in the Ivy League.
Even though goalkeeper Sean Milligan '09 earned Ivy League Rookie of the Week and ECAC Division I Co-Goalkeeper of the Week honors for his performance in the 1-0 win against Columbia over the weekend, he was benched for the game against the Wildcats. Rowan Anders '07 returned to the Dartmouth goal after missing the game against the Lions due to a suspension.
Dartmouth players started the game auspiciously, scoring their first goal in the 11th minute. Co-captain P.J. Scheufele '06 delivered a free kick into the penalty area, where Nance controlled the ball and sent a shot from about seven yards out into the lower right corner of the net for the opening score.
The Big Green doubled its lead just a minute later, and it was again Nance who was on target. Defender Peter Savidis '06 sent a long pass into the UNH defensive zone that found the head of Nance, who flicked it past goalkeeper Brian Levey. It was Nance's fourth goal of the season, tying him with Mike Ordonez '08 as the team's leading goal scorer. He is also tied at the top of the scoring table with Scheufele, both of whom have tallied nine points in the season so far.
The Dartmouth players were in total control of the game for the rest of the first half, outshooting UNH 5-3. Even though the Wildcats got their game together and managed to fire six shots against Dartmouth's four in the second half, they never really threatened to close the gap. Rowan Anders was solid in goal for the Big Green and made five saves for his seventh shutout of the season. If Anders manages to notch one more shutout, he will tie the single-season Dartmouth record of eight blankings set by John Scott in 1986. This was also Anders' 12th collegiate shutout, earning him sixth place in the Dartmouth record book.
The Big Green will be back in action on Saturday when the team travels to Cambridge, Mass. to play against Harvard. The Crimson is currently sixth in the Ivy League standings with a 0-3-1 record, earning its only point of the season last weekend in a 1-1 draw to Princeton on the road.
With three Ivy League games left to play, Dartmouth stands second with nine points, three fewer than league-leader Brown, leaving them within striking distance of the Ivy crown. So far it looks as though the title might be decided in the last game of the season, when Brown hosts the Big Green in Providence. Until then, Dartmouth faces Harvard and Cornell, while Brown plays Penn and Yale.
Brown and Dartmouth have been the two most successful teams in the Ivy League in recent years. The Bears have won the league three times in the past five years, while Dartmouth has claimed the other two titles.
Last year's game against Brown should bring back good memories for Big Green fans. After a 2-1 win in Hanover, the team claimed the Ivy League title and earned an NCAA berth. Mark Limpert '07 and Ordonez scored the two goals last season to give Dartmouth the win.
If the team wants to stay in the title race this season, however, Dartmouth must first defeat Harvard this Saturday and Cornell the following Sunday.