Women's soccer drops Ivy League opener to Princeton
The temperature Saturday evening dropped below 50 degrees, weather more typically associated with football than soccer.
From the beginning, the Big Green was behind the eight ball as Princeton drew first blood, scoring a goal in the 11th minute. Goalkeeper Laurel Peak '09 tried to make a play on a ball out of her box and Princeton's Alexandra Valerio beat her to it, finishing the play with a chip shot over Peak to give the visitors the early lead.
Princeton had another opportunity in the thirty-fifth minute when one of their strikers attempted a bending shot from the corner of the penalty area. This time, however, Peak was up to the challenge, making an outstanding save to keep the deficit at one as she dove to her right and knocked the ball away with one hand.
Peak finished the night with seven saves, as Princeton played much of the game in the offensive zone, with 16 shots, nine of which were on goal, as opposed to Dartmouth's 13 shots, four of which were on goal.
Princeton threatened once again 15 minutes after halftime when senior Diana Matheson broke through the Dartmouth defense with only the goalie to beat, but Peak was able to make a charging save, knocking the ball away before Matheson had a chance to take a shot.
Nevertheless, it was not to be for the Big Green women on this night. With 17 minutes remaining, Princeton capitalized on a corner kick opportunity.
The Tigers' Elizabeth Van Buren sent the corner right to Melissa Whitley, who netted a fine header to provide the goal which would be the difference in the game.
Annie Stanley '08 nearly put Dartmouth on the board with nine remaining when she unleashed a hard shot from just outside the penalty area. However, the Princeton goalkeeper Maren Dale, who had four saves on the night, was up to the task, getting just enough of her hand on the ball to push it up and over the crossbar. Dartmouth was unable to take advantage of the subsequent corner kick.
With three minutes left in the game, Maggie Goldstein '10 scored a beautiful goal which brought Dartmouth within one. Goldstein got the ball in the midfield and let off a majestic shot from over 30 yards out. The ball dipped and moments later ended up in the back of the net.
Dartmouth rushed to restart the game in hopes of gaining an equalizer but it was too little too late.
The Dartmouth midfield was able to draw a free kick from almost the exact same spot as Goldstein's goal. Goldstein set up to take the kick, but this time, however, her shot sailed wide right, a miss which effectively ended Dartmouth's chances as Princeton held on for the victory.
"I thought we played well and we fought, especially in the first half after we lost the goal," head coach Angie Hind said.
"We maintained that intensity throughout the game but we just gave away a bad mistake for the first goal. At this level and in this league you can't give yourself such a battle from the start."
The Big Green falls to 2-7 on the year and is now 0-1 in the Ivy League.
Next weekend, Dartmouth takes its show back on the road with a trip to New Haven on Saturday to face Yale.