Women's soccer wins, claims first in the Ivy League

by Rob Friedman | 10/31/05 6:00am

The Dartmouth women's soccer team traveled to Cambridge Saturday to face off against Harvard as part of its chase for first place in the Ivy League.

Everything fell Dartmouth's way and with a 1-0 win over Harvard and a loss by Yale at the hands of Columbia, the Big Green claimed the top spot in the Ivy League and improved to 11-3-1 (4-1 Ivy). The win, besides catapulting Dartmouth past Yale into first place, was the team's fourth straight shutout and the team has gone unbeaten in its last six matches.

Christina Ferraris '06 tallied the only goal of the match in the 72nd minute, giving Dartmouth all it needed for the win. Saturday's match was very typical of this year's team which has won seven matches by only one goal and has found its scoring touch late in most games.

Last week against Columbia, the Big Green scored all of their goals in a 5-0 victory in the second half. Eleven of the team's last twelve goals have come after halftime.

The Dartmouth defense held strong, feeling safe in the hands of the attack. With eighteen minutes left, its stoicism in the face of Harvard's attack paid off. Sarah Johnson '07 took a corner kick and Ferraris flicked the ball in, netting the game-winning goal.

Dartmouth, despite scoring only one goal, put pressure on Harvard all match long. Dartmouth out-shot Harvard 13 to six and put five shots on goal to Harvard's one. These statistics are again typical of Dartmouth lately.

On Oct. 2, the team lost to Princeton 2-0 and since then head coach Angie Hind has emphasized the value of taking shots on goal. Since the team's strategy put extra focus on shooting, the Big Green has gone 5-0-1 and out-shot itsopponents every game.

"Shooting has become such a strong point of our game, and the results show how much this has paid off," Emily Tracy '07 commented. "Getting into shooting position more often and taking more shots has increased the confidence of our entire offense."

Against Harvard Saturday, co-captain Megan Wijas '06 and Becky Junkermeier '07, who transferred from Harvard, both came inches away from a goal with each of their shots hitting the crossbar. "It was a very tough game and a very physical game," Dartmouth head coach Angie Hind said to reporters. "I thought Becky Junkermeier was outstanding playing against her old team."

Dartmouth also earned nine corner kicks, allowing it to put pressure on Harvard off of set plays.

"More shots always mean more goals," Johnson said. "It is clearly paying off for us to take more shots."

With her assist on Ferraris' goal, Johnson added to her team-leading 24 points. In addition to her nine goals, a total that leads the Ivy League, she has six assists. When asked about her knack for scoring this season, Johnson responded only by selflessly complementing Ferraris.

"I know anyone else on this team can score besides me, so all I focus on in the game is taking care of what I can control. I am really happy for Christina though, she has been playing awesome lately, and has deserved every goal she has scored, and I know she will get many more this season."

Getting goals from so many players has been a huge boost for the attack.

Tracy commented, "Christina has been playing brilliantly lately, and it is always great to have more than one goal scorer on a team. With Sarah and Christina being a threat every time they are on the ball it makes it very hard for teams to defend against us."

Dartmouth has only two games remaining in the season, and if the team wins both, they will keep the Ivy League lead and get an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. The team plays Yale on Wednesday and Cornell on Saturday.

"Our team is delighted that everything we have put into this season has paid off so far," Tracy added. "We are in a great position but we still have two Ivy games left in our season."

Advertise your student group in The Dartmouth for free!