Women's soccer victorious versus Penn
Women's soccer improved to 8-3-1 (Ivy 2-1) with a 1-0 win Saturday over the Penn Quakers.
Played in Philadelphia, the game was the Big Green's second of the week. On Wednesday they played Boston University to a 1-1 double-overtime tie.
Against Boston University, Dartmouth had to deal with very wet conditions, something the team is not used to.
"We had to adapt to horrible weather conditions, a different surface," referring to field-turf which plays much faster than grass, "and the way in which BU was playing," commented goalkeeper Amanda Webb '08. "Overall the team did very well meeting each of these obstacles and overcoming them."
Under such circumstances, both teams had trouble controlling the ball and the result was a relatively sloppy game on both ends. Laurel Peak '09 and Webb both took time in goal and stopped three of four shots over the extended 110-minute game.
Dartmouth's only goal came from co-captain Jennie Tonneson '06 in just the seventh minute. The defense let up only one goal, in the 70th minute and held BU scoreless for the rest of the game. Unhappy with the tie, Dartmouth set their sites on Penn, an important Ivy League game.
"It was one of those games that even though we tied, it felt a bit like a loss," Emily Tracy '07 said. "We knew there was no way that we wanted another tie after that, and we came out hard knowing we deserved to win against Penn."
With a 1-1 record in the Ivy League coming into the game, a win over the Quakers would keep Dartmouth within a game of league-leading Yale. Head coach Angie Hind encouraged the team to take a lot of shots and put pressure on Penn's goalkeeper, a strategy the team has employed since a 2-0 loss to Princeton. Since that loss, the team has gone 2-0-1.
"Angie has reiterated the importance of shooting in the past few games. And we are taking that to heart," co-captain Megan Wijas '06 remarked. "Not only are we shooting more, but we are getting more quality from the shots we have been taking."
The early pressure paid off again Saturday, as Colleen Kelly tallied her second goal of the season in the 24th minute. Kelly's goal came unassisted and gave Dartmouth the momentum they needed for the rest of the match.
Three of the last four goals for Dartmouth have come from Sarah Johnson '07 and the team was excited to see positive contributions from two other players. Johnson leads the Ivy League in points with 17 and goals with 7. The whole team knows, however, that she cannot do it alone.
"It is awesome that Colleen scored and nice to take some of the pressure off Sarah," Wijas added. "Colleen is awesome in the air so it doesn't surprise me that she scored because she is a scoring threat each game."
For the rest of the game, the team depended on its stellar defense and goalkeeping to carry out the win. Penn only managed six shots, only two of which were on goal. Webb stopped both and earned her first shutout since beating Brown on September 24.
"It's great to get a shutout, but the important thing is that we came away with a win," Webb said of her own performance. "This past week or so of practice has gone really well and I think I'm gaining more confidence."
Webb has been clutch in pressure situations. She subbed in for Peak in the 70th minute of the BU game, just after the score was tied, and held the Terriers scoreless through two overtimes. Then on Saturday, she held the Quakers scoreless with only a one goal cushion.
After bouncing back so convincingly from their loss to Princeton, the team has come together and really feels like it is playing better than it has all season.
"We have so much confidence in our defense because they are such a solid unit. I would say our wins are because of how much heart our team has," Tracy added. "We get along so well on and off the field -- whenever we play, we're playing for every single other member of our team."
Webb reiterated the recent increase in chemistry, "These last three games we've just played Dartmouth soccer. The wins are not a result of one thing or another, we've just gone out and played the way that we are capable and got good results."
The team will need to keep such positive energy for the end of the season. After a match Wednesday against intra-state rival University of New Hampshire, the Big Green finishes up the season against four Ivy League opponents.
"We are in a very good position in the league right now," Kelly said. "The future is in our hands so we just need to keep playing well and win the remainder of our Ivy games."
If Dartmouth wins-out, including a very important match against Yale, that due to rescheduling will probably be the last game of the season, they could capture the Ivy League title.