Big Green athletes off to all manner of starts for fall

by Heita Miki | 10/10/07 11:52pm

Football has only one win, but some other Big Green squads have gotten off to hot starts this fall.
by Tilman Dette / The Dartmouth

The men's soccer team (6-2-2, 0-0-1 Ivy), looking to avenge an injury-plagued campaign last season, has jumped out to solid start.

Goalkeeper Sean Milligan '09 has be a stalwart between the sticks this year, as he is among the nation's statistical leaders in his position.

Freshman striker Andrew Olsen '11 has joined Craig Henderson '09 to form one of the most lethal goal-scoring combinations in the Ivy League, as they have tallied eight goals so far. As long as the forwards can finish their chances and Milligan can keep his side in the game, this team could be in for a very successful season.

The women's soccer team (3-7-2, 1-1-0 Ivy), a year removed from being snubbed for the NCAA tournament, has struggled thus far this season. The squad has lost a physical struggle to Princeton 2-1 and eeked out a win over Yale, 1-0. Maggie Goldstein '10 leads the team with four goals, all coming from outside of the box. The team has continued to play solid soccer in the midfield and the backline, and has come ready to play every game.

Last year's struggles have continued for the field hockey team, which has stumbled to a 2-7 and 1-3 Ivy League mark. The team has been outscored 13-34 at this juncture in the season.

The bright spot in the squad has been Lizzie Bildner '08, who has led the way with five goals. In goal, Jordan Sedlacek '09 has posted a .704 save percentage playing in goal. Despite its struggles, the team will not throw in the towel, as evidenced by its recent heartbreaking overtime loss to Yale.

The men's cross country team, led by co-captains Harry Norton'08 and Grant Allen '08, will make a run at the Ivy League title, despite being without the services of Ben True '08 who has decided to devote his fall to training for nordic skiing in Idaho.

"Our first race went really well with us taking the first three places. It also showed that everyone returned from the summer really fit," Norton said. "The second race in Maine didn't produce the team result we were hoping for, but it established our varsity team and we also beat Yale, and for the majority of the team, training and workouts have gone great. "

Heralded recruit Tom Robbins '11 has been a revelation for the team. He was the top Dartmouth finisher at the Keatinge Invitational in Maine, and has made an immediate impact on the team.

"The goal of the team is always to win the Heptagonal meet and to qualify for nationals, and I sincerely believe that this team has the ability to accomplish these two goals," Norton said.

The women's cross country team has also enjoyed some success. Dartmouth placed second in the season-opening Dartmouth Invitational and finished sixth of 21 teams in the Keatinge Invitational. While the recent results would suggest that the team has struggled of late, one must bear in mind that the team's top runners have been resting for late season.

Susan Dunklee '08 has been the first Big Green finisher in every race that she has entered. Joining her in leading the Big Green runners are Caitlin Cunningham '09 and Aryn Gruneisen'09. Andrea Imhof '11, Rachel Gill '11 and Lauren Rosenbaum '11 have also turned in some promising results.

This weekend will be the first major test for both cross country teams, as the teams' rested top runners travel to Terre Haute, Ind. for the NCAA pre-meet.

Finally, there is the women's volleyball team (11-3, 4-0 Ivy), which has blossomed into one of the school's best fall teams.

"We actually have the same starting lineup, outside of one middle blocker," co-captain Sandy Barbut '08 said. "What's changed is that we're unified mentally and dedicated. We're dry this season, we've worked out harder than ever before, and we have the commitment and caring."

Apparently, the team's chemistry has been instrumental in their high quality of play.

"It has been a total team effort. We're like a robot, if one part falls off it wouldn't work," Barbut said.

Barbut hopes to bring an Ivy League volleyball championship trophy to Hanover for the first time ever.

"The team's goal is to win the Ivies," Barbut said. "When I was a freshman, I came here for the opportunity to change something, and to be able to have a championship team, not just get close but to actually win it, would be absolutely huge."

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