With all fall sports now at their end, it is time to take a closer look at some of Dartmouth's results.
The football team ended its year 3-7, which was a bit of a disappointment after the high hopes of early in the season. However, for the graduating class of 2008, this was its best season yet, with three Ivy League wins in one season versus four in the previous three years. As a team, Dartmouth scored 271 points, their most in 11 seasons.
With 14 tackles in the season finale, linebacker and captain Justin Cottrell '08 ended his career at Dartmouth with 243 tackles, 13th on the all-time list. Cottrell was also first in the Ivy League and 10th in Division I-AA (officially the Football Championship Subdivision) in tackles, and led all Ivy League linebackers in interceptions, picking off three passes. John Pircon '08 finished third in the Ivy League in tackles, giving Dartmouth two of the top three tacklers in the Ivy League, an impressive statistic.
Wide receiver Brian Evans '08 ended his career with 69 catches for 1189 yards and seven touchdowns, leaving him 20th on the all-time receptions list, one spot ahead of Coach Buddy Teevens' younger brother, Shaun Teevens '82. Evans also finished 12th on the all-time receiving yards list, 76 yards short of the top 10. Kicker Andrew Kempler '08 set the Dartmouth single-season record for most extra points made without a miss (34).
Dartmouth also showed remarkable consistency this season. On the offensive side of the ball, the same five linemen started every season this year, along with tight end Brett Lowe '08 and Evans at wide receiver. Quarterback Tom Bennewitz '08 started all but one game, as did wide receiver Philip Galligan '09. The only positions that really saw any variation offensively were in the backfield at tailback and fullback.
By comparison, the Big Green defense made the Big Green offense look chaotic. The same front seven started every single game, as did cornerback John Manning '08 and strong safety Pircon. The only movement defensively was at the other cornerback spot, where Chris Blanco '07 started the first six games and Jason Blydell '08 started the last three, and at free safety, the only position where three different Dartmouth players started over the course of the year.
Dartmouth football was not the only team to play this fall, so I would be remiss not to mention some of the other standouts. Dartmouth volleyball finished fourth in the Ivy League with an 8-6 record (they were 15-9 overall), its best result in eight seasons. Setter Katie Hirsch '08 was named first team All-Ivy, ranking fourth in the league in assists with 12.04 per game, and finished second on the all-time Dartmouth list in that category with 3,197. Hirsch's appearance ended a six-season absence of Dartmouth players on the All-Ivy first team.
The Dartmouth men's soccer team had the most All-Ivy players of any fall sport, with six, including two first-team nods. The Big Green ended the year with the second lowest goals against average in the country, 0.51. As recognition of this accomplishment, both defender Ale Frischeisen '08 and goalkeeper Sean Milligan '09 were named first team All-Ivy. Milligan gave up only nine goals in 17 games, and his 0.52 goals against average with the third-best all-time for Dartmouth goalies. Milligan also set the Dartmouth single-season record for shutouts with nine blank sheets.
Though these seniors have seen their Dartmouth careers come to a close, they have plenty to be proud of. They have represented Dartmouth valiantly over the past four years, and now get to look forward to two terms of complete freedom (except for the multi-season athletes). No more practices, no more games, just memories.
Since this is my last column of the term, I feel I need to mention some of the wonderful happenings over winter break. The Dartmouth men's hockey team is traveling to Colorado to play in Denver's holiday tournament on December 28 and 29, while women's basketball will also travel to the Rocky Mountain State to play Denver on December 19 and at the University of Colorado on December 21. They both follow in the footsteps of the men's basketball team, which traveled out to play in a season-opening tournament at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Co. Let's wish good luck to all those Dartmouth athletes playing over break, whether in the frozen tundra of Hanover or elsewhere.