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The Dartmouth
May 30, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Men's soccer falls in NCAA Sweet Sixteen to Wake Forest

Andrew Olsen '11 scored in the shootout against Boston College, but the Big Green's tournament came to an end Sunday with a 7-0 loss to Wake Forest.
Andrew Olsen '11 scored in the shootout against Boston College, but the Big Green's tournament came to an end Sunday with a 7-0 loss to Wake Forest.

The loss comes two weeks after Dartmouth (12-6-2, 5-1-1 Ivy) took home its eighth Ivy League title and four days after the team managed to hold off Boston College in the second round of the tournament. Sunday's game marked the first time Dartmouth has advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament since 1992, when it only had a 32-team field.

Dartmouth received a bye into the second round as the No. 16 seed in the tournament. The Big Green's first test was Boston College (11-7-3, 5-3-0 ACC), who defeated Colgate University, 2-0, in the first round. The game was originally scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 25 but was postponed to the next day as heavy rain in Hanover left the pitch unplayable.

When the two teams finally kicked off they held each other scoreless through regulation and overtime, and for the second straight season Dartmouth's fate hinged on penalty kicks. Last year the Big Green fell to the University of Vermont in the first round of the tournament in a penalty shootout.

This year was different for Dartmouth as it advanced to the Sweet 16, winning the penalty shootout, 4-2.

Boston College shot first, but senior Dan Lane's shot hit the post. Dartmouth captain and goalkeeper Sean Milligan '09 then helped his own cause by drilling a shot past the Eagles' Chris Brown.

Each team made its next two kicks, with Shawn Chin and Stephen Hepburn scoring for Boston College and Andrew Olsen '11 and captain Craig Henderson '09 scoring for Dartmouth. Already holding a 3-2 advantage, Milligan stonewalled Boston College's Mike Konicoff, and Pumi Maqubela '10 nailed his kick to seal the victory, giving Dartmouth head coach Jeff Cook his first tournament success in five tries.

Milligan's seven saves gave him his 18th shutout, moving him to a tie atop Dartmouth's career shutouts list with Rowan Anders '07.

Dartmouth's reward for a tough victory was a matchup on Sunday with top-ranked Wake Forest (20-1-1, 7-0-1 ACC), the defending NCAA champion, in Winston-Salem, N.C.

The Demon Deacons came in riding a 32-game unbeaten streak at home, fourth longest in NCAA history. Wake Forest had not lost to a non-Atlantic Coast Conference opponent in 40 matches. The weather again played a factor as the game was played in a driving rainstorm.

The Demon Deacon's struck early, and then piled on in the second half. Wake Forest's Corben Bone put his team on the board in just the seventh minute, driving home a shot from 15 yards out. Milligan was able to put a finger on it pushing it to the post, but could not get any luck as the ball deflected into the net.

Dartmouth kept its composure for much of the period and buckled down right up until the very last minute of the half. In the 44th minute, the Big Green got whistled for a handball in the box. Wake Forest's Sam Cronin did not waste the penalty kick, sending the ball right as Milligan dove left, giving the Demon Deacon's a 2-0 lead at the half.

Dartmouth came out attacking in the second half, but Wake Forest found itself with a 2-on-1 against Milligan after a shot from Henderson was blocked. The Deacons' Marcus Tracy crossed the ball over to Cody Arnoux for an easy tap-in to put Dartmouth down by three in the 49th minute.

As the rain picked up so did the Demon Deacon's offense. In a two-minute span, Milligan managed to block three shots from Wake Forest's Zack Schilawski. But Schilawski's persistence paid off, and he beat Milligan on his fourth try to put Wake Forest up 4-0 in the 61st minute.

But Dartmouth refused to go down without a fight. In the 67th minute, Walker Linares '11 threw the ball into classmate Bryan Guidicelli '11, whose header tested Demon Deacons' goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald but did not find the back of the net. The save jump-started another Wake Forest counter-attack, and 25 seconds later Arnoux struck again off a cross from Michael Lahoud.

The Deacons scored two more times in the last seven minutes of the game, with a goal from Luke Normand and another from Schilawski, to reach the final score of 7-0 and end the Big Green's season. The Demon Deacons will now face No. 8 seed South Florida on Saturday, Dec. 6.

On a day with few bright spots for Dartmouth, goalkeeper Sean Milligan nonetheless managed to take home another Dartmouth career record. Milligan ends his career as Dartmouth's all-time leader in goals against average, with an impressive 0.824, to go with his career shutouts record.