Men's lax finishes season with victory over Harvard
Despite losing the lead to Harvard (6-8, 1-5 Ivy) for a short span in the second and third periods, the Big Green (7-7, 3-3 Ivy) played a second straight week of impressive team lacrosse.
"I think that throughout the game we played very well," captain Doug Rendall '09 said. "We didn't play perfectly, but we never got down after a bad play."
Brian Koch '09 led the Dartmouth attack with four goals and Ari Sussman '10 contributed four assists.
In front of a packed house at Harvard Stadium, the Big Green started the game with intensity, scoring three goals in the first three minutes of play.
Jon Livadas '09 put Dartmouth on the scoreboard less than a minute into the game on a rebound from a wide shot by captain Chad Gaudet '08.
Gaudet won the ensuing faceoff and handed the ball off to to Sussman, who set up Koch for his first goal of the day.
Soon after, another Gaudet faceoff victory allowed Jimmy Mullen '09 to net his 17th goal of the season, pushing the score to 3-0 in Dartmouth's favor.
Harvard, in a desperate effort to halt the Big Green momentum, called a timeout and regrouped.
The Harvard stall tactic paid dividends a minute later when senior midfielder Zach Widbin scored the Crimson's first goal.
Josh Gillam '10 gained possession of the ball after another Gaudet faceoff win and ripped a shot-on-goal, but was denied by Crimson netminder Evan O'Donnell.
On the ensuing clear, Harvard's leading scorer, Jason Duboe, closed the gap to 3-2, capitalizing on a rebound off Dartmouth goalie Mike Novosel '10.
The teams traded possessions at the start of the second quarter before Harvard opened an all-out offensive attack on the Big Green.
After a successful Harvard clear, the Crimson fired off six straight shots while Dartmouth was unable to get the ball out of its half of the field. Novosel made three saves, but the Crimson connected for a goal to even the score.
After a short series of turnovers, Harvard took a 4-3 lead on a goal from freshman Dean Gibbons.
With less than two minutes left in the half, Dartmouth called a timeout in hopes of tying the game before the end of the quarter. Gillam then fired another shot that hit the post, leaving Harvard with a one-goal lead going into the halftime break.
The Crimson gained a 5-3 advantage in the third quarter, on another Gibbons goal.
Dartmouth responded soon after as Livadas once again set the tone for the Big Green, slashing a penalty by Harvard and coming up with a goal to stop the Crimson run.
Dartmouth carried the momentum for the remainder of the game, as Tim Daniels '08 scored an unassisted goal and Koch struck a minute later to put the Big Green back in the lead.
Koch then took advantage of another Harvard penalty, scoring less than 30 seconds into the fourth quarter to start the Big Green's six-goal final period.
The teams went back and forth for the next six minutes before Dartmouth took a 9-5 lead on back-to-back goals by Chris Root '10 and Gaudet.
Harvard came back with a goal on a man-up opportunity, but it was too little and too late to create a comeback. Goals by Koch, Mullen and captain Ryan Orr '08 in the final minutes of the game put away Harvard, 12-6.
Dartmouth ends Ivy League play tied for fourth place with the University of Pennsylvania (6-7, 3-3 Ivy), while Harvard sits in sixth place.
Cornell (11-3, 5-1 Ivy) earned the Ivy League's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament after co-champion Brown (11-3, 5-1 Ivy) defeated Princeton, 6-5, on Saturday in Providence, R.I.
Despite matching conference records, the Big Red moves to the postseason as a result of its victory over the Bears in head-to-head play earlier in the season.