Women's soccer falls to BC in NCAA first-round game
The 2005 season came to a painful close for the Dartmouth women's soccer team on Thursday night. After 90 minutes of hard fought, generally well-executed play, the Big Green found itself on the short end of a 2-1 final score against Boston College in the first round of this year's NCAA Tournament.
The game was the second of the evening's doubleheader of NCAA play at the University of Connecticut's Joseph J. Morrone Stadium. Since it took Boston University two overtime periods to upset the UConn Huskies, Dartmouth and BC did not kick off until 9:20 p.m.
By that point in the evening the temperature had dropped into the mid-30s with gusting winds adding to the already chilly conditions.
For the first 30 minutes, the two teams held each other scoreless. That changed when the Eagles' Molly Dane shot a hard ball past Dartmouth goaltender Amanda Webb '08 off of a corner kick and an assist from teammate Jenny Maurer to put BC up 1-0.
The goal appeared to fire up the Eagles offensive attack and they struck again quickly.
In a strange case of dj vu, Boston College scored in the 38th minute off of another corner kick, this time with Dane setting up Maurer who then dribbled toward the Dartmouth goal and beat Webb to score what would be the Eagles' winning goal.
"They caught us off guard and they did it twice," said captain Megan Wijas '06.
"I don't think they played better than us, but they did capitalize on their few opportunities."
Teammate Christina Ferraris '06 agreed when she told reporters, "We just made two mistakes, but I don't think our play was disappointing."
The Big Green refused to go quietly into the off-season, however. The team answered Maurer's goal with one of its own two minutes later at the 40:27 mark when Colleen Kelly '07 sent an airborne assist from Sarah Johnson '07 into Boston College's goal with her head to bring Dartmouth within one goal of the Eagles.
Following a first half marked by those 10 minutes of offensive fury, the second frame was all about defense.
"In the second half they gave us a lot of respect," said head coach Angie Hind in her post-game comments.
"They put more players in the midfield and they frustrated us so that we couldn't create chances."
The Big Green defense proved equally tenacious and neither team could score in the second half. Unfortunately for Dartmouth fans that meant the Eagles had held on to their first-half lead and had knocked the Big Green out of the tournament and ended their season in a game that was a statistical dead heat. BC had only one more shot on goal and two more corners than Dartmouth.
"It's a tough way to end the season but I'm proud of what we have done," Hind told reporters.
Wijas agreed, saying, "I think especially in the first half we played some good soccer. It's frustrating to give up two goals, but I'm proud of us in general."
Of course, the loss meant that Wijas and the rest of this year's class of seniors had played their final game for Dartmouth. "I'll probably remember this season the most," said Wijas.
"The thing that you remember most is that it was a great bunch of girls who enjoyed each other's company and that's what made it a great team to be a part of."
The loss puts Dartmouth's final record on the season at 12-5-1.That marks the third best win-total in Dartmouth women's soccer history and the best record the Big Green has posted since 2002 when the team finished with an identical record of 12-5-1.
The only two seasons that bettered this year's total number of victories were in 1998 when the Big Green went 16-2-2 and in 2000 when the team notched a record of 14-5-0.