Fall athletic teams conclude seasons

by Jordan Rose | 11/21/06 6:00am

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Maggie Goldstein '10 and the women's soccer team were denied an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament despite a No. 18 national ranking.
by Kawakahi Amina / The Dartmouth

Under the rallying call "Bringing It Back," the Dartmouth football team entered the season looking to erase memories of last year's 2-8 run and regain some of the pride and success the Big Green enjoyed during the 1990s. However, a rough beginning to the season quelled these aspirations, highlighted by a 56-14 rout at the hands of nationally-ranked University of New Hampshire in the annual Granite Bowl in Hanover.

The season's most memorable and infamous moment came during the Homecoming game against the College of the Holy Cross, when members of both teams engaged in a brawl at midfield following the Crusaders' 24-21 overtime victory. No Dartmouth players were arrested, but head coach Buddy Teevens '79 and co-captains Preston Copley '07 and Mike Rabil '06 issued a written apology to the community for the actions following an investigation by the athletic department. The incident came in the wake of the nationally-publicized brawl between the University of Miami (Fla.) and Florida International University that same weekend.

The Big Green managed to reestablish its composure and played several hotly-contested games in the Ivy League, such as a 17-10 loss to the University of Pennsylvania and a 27-17 defeat to co-Ivy champion Princeton, a game that was tied at the end of the third quarter. Led by senior quarterback Mike Fritz '07, Dartmouth finished the year 2-8 overall, 2-5 in the Ivy League, which included wins over Columbia and Brown.

The women's soccer team had a banner season in 2006, earning a No. 18 national ranking and No. 1 ranking in the Northeast. Despite this, the Big Green did not win the Ivy League conference, and was the only top 25 team not to receive a coveted NCAA tournament at-large bid. The Big Green finished the season with the Ivy League's best overall record with a 12-4-1 mark, 6-1 in the Conference. The squad's signature win came over then-No. 10 Boston University in Hanover on Oct. 11, when the Big Green held on for a 1-0 victory and broke into the national rankings at No. 13. The squad had six players named All-Ivy, led by second team picks co-captains Whitney Douthett '07 and Megan Wijas '06, and forward Emily Tracy '07. None of Dartmouth's players, however, were selected to the first team.

The men's soccer team fell short of the high expectations it set in 2005, when it won its second straight Ivy League title. Dartmouth garnered a 6-8-3 record overall, with a 3-3-1 mark in the Ivy League, putting the Big Green in fourth place. All-Ivy first team selection Daniel Keat '10 had a stellar freshman season, leading the team with six goals, 13 points and three game-winning tallies. Netminder Rowan Anders '07 was named to the second team, his third consecutive All-Ivy accolade, while midfielder Mike Ordonez '08 and defender Tom Lobben '08 were honorable mention selections.

Possibly the most successful squad this fall was the Dartmouth sailing team, which just last week earned a national No. 1 ranking, climbing from the No. 6 position. The team scored a big victory on Nov. 11-12 at the Coed Atlantic Coast Dinghy Championship, beating out 17 other boats to earn first place at the competition.

Dartmouth's cross country teams had relative success this fall, but after garnering a No. 14 national ranking and winning the Ivy League a year ago, the men's team runners were admittedly dissatisfied with their performance this season. Led by Ben True '08, the men's squad earned three top finishes in its first three meets, and followed those victories with a disappointing sixth-place finish at the New England Championships.

At the Heptagonal Championships, the team finished third, falling well short of a repeat Ivy title. True, a 2005 All-American, won his second individual Heps title and qualified for his second straight trip to the NCAA championships on Nov. 20, finishing 59th in a field of 250 runners, down from his 32nd-place finish last year.

The women's team placed in the middle of the pack at New Englands, and garnered a sixth-place finish at Heps.

Field hockey had a tough fall season, finishing 3-14 overall and 1-6 in the Ivy League a year after a surprising second-place finish in the conference. With only a handful of bench players for games after several members of the squad left the program, the team tried to recruit players by holding open tryouts during the season. Leading scorer Lizzie Bildner '08 earned All-Region Second Team and All-Ivy first team honors and finished the year with 19 points on nine goals and one assist.

Women's volleyball ended its season with a five-game win over Brown on Nov. 12, giving the Big Green a 12-12 record overall (matching its 2004-05 finish) and a 6-8 Ivy mark. Jess Thomas '09 and Nadine Parris '06, whose 244 total blocks are good for second all-time in school history, helped the team string together wins over Princeton, Penn and Columbia as the team jumped out to a fast start in league play.

Dartmouth's tennis, golf and crew teams each participated in the fall season largely as a tune-up for their respective spring Ivy League campaigns. The teams competed in a number of multi-team tournaments, such as crew's participation in the prestigious Head of the Charles race in Boston. Other memorable moments from these teams included Daniel Freeman '10's A flight finals appearance at the Big Green Invitational and Jamie Wallace '08's fifth-place finish at the New England Intercollegiate Golf Association Championship on Oct. 25.