In order to qualify for a bid to the East Coast Athletic Conference Tournament, Dartmouth field hockey needs to finish the season with a winning record. After splitting the weekend's games, the team remains at .500 for the season.
Dartmouth won at Harvard in its Homecoming game on Saturday 2-1, but lost 5-1 away to Syracuse on Sunday.
The Big Green came back from an early 1-0 deficit in Cambridge with two quick goals before half. Whitney Waugh '08 and Lizzie Bildner '08 each scored their sixth goal of the season in the victory.
Waugh tied the game scoring on a penalty corner, her specialty. Lindsay Gossage '06 and Laura Kistler '06 assisted the play. Of Dartmouth's five corners, it was the only one converted. Harvard failed to score on any of their five penalty corners.
Since Jessica Saraceno '06 went down with a shoulder injury, Kistler has filled her position of stopping the ball dead off the corner pass for Waugh to have a shot on goal.
Bildner's goal was deflected past Harvard keeper Kelly Knoche with a little more than a minute to play in the first half. It was Bildner's fourth goal in the last three games. Ashley Hines '09 deposited the ball into the circle where it found Bildner's stick. It was Hines' first career assist.
"We played very well against Harvard," said Dartmouth head coach Amy Fowler, "The score was a little closer than we would've hoped, but it was a great team effort."
Harvard's Gretchen Fuller scored the Crimson's only goal, beating Dartmouth keeper Lauren Balukjian '06. Jane Sackovich assisted the play for Harvard.
Balukjian had five saves as Harvard outshot Dartmouth 11-10. Harvard switched goalies at the half when Siobhan Connolly replaced Knoche. Both Harvard keepers had two saves.
Harvard's record drops to 5-11 (Ivy 1-5).
At Syracuse on Sunday it was Dartmouth's turn to give up an early lead. Waugh scored the first goal of the game from a penalty corner. She now leads the team with seven goals, all of which have come in the last eight games. Gossage and Kistler assisted again. It was the only converted corner in eight tries for the Big Green.
But the win was not to be when the Orange connected on three of their ten penalty corners. Tallying a hat trick, Michelle Sola put three goals past Balukjian and was assisted on each by Meg Ryan and Jessica Dahle.
"We didn't defend them as well as we thought we would," Fowler said, "They capitalized on a lot of opportunities that we gave them."
Paige Sullivan and Ashley Fry had Syracuse's other two goals, both of which came in the second half.
After recording five saves and allowing five goals, Balukjian was replaced in goal by Ashley Heist '08. Heist faced no shots on goal, even though Syracuse outshot Dartmouth 12-6 on the game.
Fowler said she made the switch only to give Heist some playing time. "We needed to get her some minutes, and this was an opportunity for her to get some experience," Fowler said.
Dartmouth's record now stands at 8-8 (Ivy 4-2). If the Big Green win next week it will finish, at worst, in a tie for second place in the Ivy League and will be eligible for post-season consideration. Princeton already clinched first place.
Syracuse improves its overall record to 11-8.
Next week Dartmouth hosts Cornell at home in the regular-season finale. Cornell is 10-6 (4-2) for the season. It will be the last regular-season game for the Dartmouth seniors.
"Come watch us play our last game," Kistler said. "We have a lot at stake."
Eligibility for a bid in the ECAC Tournament and second place in the Ivy League will be on the line in the season finale.