Men's lacrosse proves no match for No. 3 Blue Devils

by Stephen Preefer | 3/31/08 3:03am

The Big Green will regroup from its 16-9 loss to Duke before hosting No. 19 University of Pennsylvania on Saturday on Memorial Field.
by Zach Ingbretson / The Dartmouth

Although the score may indicate a blowout by the Blue Devils, the Big Green (4-4, 0-1 Ivy) fought throughout the game and remained competitive through the fourth quarter. The game was played at a neutral site in Long Island, N.Y.

The team was satisfied overall with their performance against a strong Duke (10-1, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) team that made it to the NCAA championship game last season.

"We knew going in that we were going to play a very good Duke team, possibly the best team in the country," captain Doug Rendall '09 said. "We played physically hard and continued to build on our performances from the last couple of games. We made fixable mistakes that we are going to improve as we head into the heart of our Ivy schedule."

Rendall continued to say that the team has not yet fulfilled its potential and continues to battle the similar problems with execution that it has faced throughout the season.

"It has been the same thing all year," Rendall said. "We need to execute better and [against Duke] we had trouble clearing the ball throughout the game which really hurt us."

Josh Gillam '10 led the Dartmouth offense with four goals while Ari Sussman '10, Phil Killian '09 and Jon Livadas '09 also chipped into the scoring effort.

Rendall noted that Gillam, also a member of the Dartmouth ice hockey team, has been a huge addition since the hockey season ended.

"It was really nice getting Josh Gillam back in the lineup from the hockey team," Rendall said. "He played really well for us against Duke with his four goals and an assist."

Duke's two first team All-American and preseason nominees for player of year, Zack Greer and Matt Danowski, led Duke with seven and four goals, respectively, in addition to Danowski's four assists. Danowski was named player of the year in 2007.

Duke outshot Dartmouth by 25 with a 57-32 advantage in shooting attempts. The Blue Devils also beat the Big Green in ground balls and faceoffs on Saturday.

Duke scored the first goal of the game just after the game's first minute. Soon after, Gillam scored the first of his four goals to even the score. Duke countered with a 3-0 run, including goals from Greer and Danowski.

Gillam then broke up the run with two goals of his own, bringing the Big Green back within one of the Blue Devils. Duke took back the two-goal advantage by the end of the quarter.

Sussman started the Big Green off strong in the second quarter scoring the first goal and, again, bringing Dartmouth just one goal away from an even game.

Shortly after Sussman's goal, Duke went on an 8-1 run which broke the game open for the Blue Devils. All eight of the goals were scored by Greer or Danowski, with Greer scoring six of his seven goals during this run that extended into the third quarter.

The only goal scored by Dartmouth throughout the run was from Killian with two minutes remaining in the second quarter, bringing the score to 13-6.

With two minutes left in the third quarter, Killian scored his second goal and halted the Duke streak. Sussman followed up Killian's goal with one of his own.

The Big Green also started off the fourth quarter well, showing resiliency despite the powerful Duke offense.

Livadas threw down the first goal of the quarter during the second minute of play. Gillam then got his fourth goal of the day on a Sussman assist in a man-up situation which brought the Big Green to a five goal deficit with the score of 14-9.

Despite the effort opening the quarter, the Dartmouth men were unable to score another goal on the day and Duke got two more from their dominant offense, ending the game with a score of 16-9.

One of the bright spots of the game for the Big Green was the performance of goaltender Michael Novosel '10, who finished with 14 saves and garnered the praise of his teammates.

"Novosel had a really good game in goal against one of the best teams in the country," Rendall said. "He really played well."

The team now looks forward to both its Ivy League schedule and a match-up with top-ranked University of Virginia.

Despite the loss to Brown two weeks ago, the team remains optimistic about its league chances, especially in light of of some mixed results from other teams.

"Obviously the loss to Brown hurts us, but we've seen that there is a lot more parity in the league this year," Rendall said. "Yale took Cornell to overtime last week and from that and how we've played I feel that there is no reason we can't win any game in the league."

The Big Green will take on Ivy foe No. 19 University of Pennsylvania at home on Saturday.