The Dartmouth men's soccer team managed to outsmart and outplay Yale earning a narrow 1-0 win at Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium in New Haven, Conn., on Saturday. The Big Green improved to 6-1-3 in the season (Ivy 2-0-0) and increased its winning streak to five games, emerging victorious in the last eight matches. Rock-solid center-back Lucas Richardson '07 gave the Big Green the win with his second game-winning goal this season.
The two teams had played against the same opponents on two occasions since the start of the season -- at the Yale Classic and the Dartmouth Adidas Classic tournaments. Even though they had not yet faced off, they knew everything there was to know about each other. It was to be a game of technical acuity with every mistake possibly fatal in the terrible weather.
However, it did not take long before co-captain playmaker P.J. Scheufele '06 showed his creative qualities once again. In the 12th minute, he delivered a perfect corner kick to the head of Richardson, whom was left with the easy task of directing the ball into the net.
This was Scheufele's third assist this season, bringing his point tally to seven.
The half finished with a 7-3 advantage for the Big Green on shots, with goalkeeper Rowan Anders '07 not being threatened by the Yale offense.
In the second half, weather conditions were deteriorating rapidly and the teams struggled with the poor state of the pitch.
As a result, both teams combined for only 5 shots on goal in the second half. Throughout the game, Anders was forced to make only one save, earning his fifth shutout of the season.
"It was a tremendous, competitive battle. The conditions made it difficult, but both teams tried to play good soccer. Dartmouth's experience was the difference in the end," admitted Yale head coach Brian Tompkins.
"It was a very difficult night to play. The conditions in the first half were reasonable, but by the second half, the field was water logged and there were large amounts of standing water," agreed Dartmouth head coach Jeff Cook. "We handled the conditions as well as they could be handled. I'm just happy to pick up an Ivy win," he finished.
Dartmouth now leads the way in the Ivy League, with Yale down to 5-2-3 (Ivy 1-1-0). Brown and Cornell also possess a 2-0-0 record in the Ivy League, but their overall performances have been shadowed by Dartmouth's skillful play. Meanwhile, this was only the Bulldogs second defeat of the season, as they lost 2-1 to seventh-ranked Fairleigh Dickinson earlier.
The Big Green will be back in action on Wednesday, October 12 at 3:00 p.m., when they host nationally ranked No. 23 Vermont in a local derby.
The Catamounts are 9-4-0 throughout the season, coming off an impressive 4-0 defeat of the University of Maryland Baltimore County Retrievers over the weekend. Senior back and tri-captain Jesse Brady-Searby played well for Vermont, scoring a hat trick and leading the defense for its fourth shutout of the season.
The Big Green will be threatened by UVM's freshman attacking contingent. The absolute sensation is Lee Stephane Kouadio, who is leading the team with 9 goals this season. His classmate Jordan
Crasilneck will also be a player to watch out for, as he has been the creator of most of Kouadio's goals, recording 9 assists and scoring twice himself.
However, Dartmouth's defenders have proved that they can take on tough opposition. Richardson and Ale Frischeisen '08 have formed a solid partnership in the center, while Jacob Agiuar '07 and Tom Lobben '08 have also provided extra stability on the sides.
The whole pack is masterfully orchestrated by Rowan Anders, who allows only 0.75 goals per game. The junior goalkeeper, who enjoyed a starting place in the team since his freshman year, only lets a goal in every 120 minutes and has been instrumental in this season's successful defensive performance.