The Way We Were: 2009 Fall Sports in Review

by Tianchi Xu | 11/22/09 11:00pm

Field Hockey

Despite a slow start to the year with tough non-conferences losses, the women's team (9-8, 4-3 Ivy) was able to turn on the afterburners near mid-season. A Big Green four-game winning streak saw two second overtime victories and a new Ivy League record for most goals scored in one game, set by Kelly Hood '12.

This midseason momentum boost, however, was not enough to carry the squad to an Ivy crown. Battling inconsistencies in the half of the campaign, the Big Green posted mixed results, despite a late charge down the stretch. A 1-0 loss to Cornell capped off a season highlighted by key individual performances but bogged by temporary slumps.

Co-captain Virginia Peisch '11 and Hood were voted to first team All-Ivy. Hood had a recording setting season with 42 points on 17 goals and eight assists, while Peisch almost broke her own record for most assists in a season, with 15.

Cross Country

The Big Green wrapped up its season at the NCAA Regional meet on Nov.14 at Franklin Park in Boston, where the Dartmouth men finished 5th out of 36th teams and the women finished 12th.

At the Heptagonal Cross Country Championships at Van Cortlandt Park in New York, the men crossed the finish line in third place behind Ivy powerhouses Columbia and Princeton. On the women's side, Dartmouth finished sixth, with consistent performances from the top five Big Green runners, all of whom posted lifetime or course personal records.

The Big Green hit the ground running early in the season with men's team taking second place at the Keene Invitational and the women's squad finishing third at the New England Championships.

Tennis

The Dartmouth men ended their fall season at the Harvard Invitational with an impressive showing by Dan Freeman '10, who won a singles and doubles titles for the Big Green. The squad, however, saw mixed results at home, failing to advance into the round of eight in both singles and doubles brackets at the Indoor Tennis Regionals held in Hanover, N.H.

The Big Green women found more success in the fall, with the duo of Molly Scott '11 and Mary Beth Winingham '10 advancing to the doubles semi-finals of the Northeast Regional Tennis Indoor Championship at Yale. The tandem also fought its way into finals of the ITA All-American Championships in Los Angeles, Calif. Co-captain Jesse Adler '10 jumpstarted the season by capturing a singles title at the National Tennis Center Invitational on Oct. 12 in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.

Golf

At the 75th annual New England Intercollegiate Golf Association Championships, the men's team completed its fall season with an impressive third-place finish, ending just nine strokes behind the tournament champion University of Connecticut. The men also earned a split with Harvard at the first annual Ivy League Match Play in Cape Cod, Mass.

The women's squad struggled this fall, posting 9th place finishes at both the Yale Women's Fall Intercollegiate Golf Tournament and the Kelly Gutshall Invitational at Lehigh University.

Sailing

After climbing to a No. 8 national ranking early in the season, the women's team earned a spot in the Atlantic Coast Championship with an eighth-place finish at the Victorian Coffee Urn at Harvard. In the final regatta of the season, from Nov.14-15 at Brown, the women's squad battled rainy and windy conditions to finish 13th out of 18 teams at the championships.

Although the co-ed team did not join the ranks of sailors competing at the ACC, the squad had notched first-place finishes at the Captain Hurst Bowl and the Oberg Trophy during the season, helping the team cruise into the nation's top-20 rankings for the first time in two years.

Equestrian

Equestrian trotted to the finish with strong marks, earning a third-place standing in the region after the fall season. The team opened its campaign Oct. 10 with a second-place finish at Middlebury, Vt., highlighted by wins from Abigail Franklin '13 in advanced walk, trot, canter and Linda Cummins '10 in intermediate fences.

Riding on its early success, the squad concluded fall season at the University of Vermont with a fifth place showing, buoyed by Katherine Lindzey '13, who was the high-point rider out of 120 participants.

Women's Soccer

In a heartbreaking loss to Harvard near the season's end, Dartmouth (10-7-0, 4-3-0 Ivy) fell out of the running for the Ivy League title. The Big Green, however, soon found the silver lining with a 2-1 victory over Bryant University, securing a winning record for the season.

Of the team's seven losses, only two were by more than one goala 5-1 loss to the University of Pennsylvania and a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Oregon State University.

Early in the season, Big Green jumped to a perfect 2-0 league record, only to be shut out by Yale in the following match. Down the stretch, Dartmouth needed a decisive victory over the Crimson to stay in the hunt for the league championship but was unable repel a late Harvard attack.

Despite its dashed hopes, Dartmouth consistently showed its potential with its persistent strikers and staunch defenders. Midfielders Ali Hubbard '10, Kelsey Quick '10 and Myra Sack '10 were named to first team All-Ivy.

Men's Soccer

The triple threat offense of Dan Keat '10, Craig Henderson '10 and Lucky Mkosana '12 was not enough to push the Big Green (10-7-1, 4-3-0 Ivy) deep into the NCAA tournament, as Dartmouth fell prey to first-round opponent Boston College in a 2-1 overtime loss on Nov. 19.

Ranked No. 10 in the nation at the start of the season, the Big Green looked to repeat as Ivy champions, but was unable to follow in the footsteps of last year's stellar season. After dropping non-conference matches to Loyola Marymount University and unranked Hartwick College, Dartmouth regained its confidence with four straight wins, including a crucial overtime victory against Yale.

On the cusp of another impressive season, Dartmouth, however, faltered down the stretch, losing four of its last six matches and dropping to fourth place in league standings.

A 3-0 loss to Brown in its season finale seemed to relegate Dartmouth to postseason sidelines, but the Big Green received to third straight at-large bid to the NCAA tournament and was pitted against old rival Boston College.

Henderson, who ends his storied career at Dartmouth, was named to the Academic All-American second team and to the All-Ivy second team, along with teammate Pumi Magubela '10. Keat and Mkosana earned All-Ivy first team honors.

Football

On a damp and wet Homecoming weekend, Dartmouth (2-8, 2-5 Ivy) broke a 17-game losing streak and brought its 721-day winless drought to a rain-soaked end.

The 2009 season certainly brought back memories of last year's futility, but also produced memorable highlights that were encouraging for both players and fans alike.

Dartmouth's two hard-fought wins this year showcased the impressive talents of two backs, Nick Schwieger '12 and Greg Patton '13 both of whom set new Dartmouth single-game rushing records in a span of three weeks.

These rare offensive gems were, however, the exception, not the rule, as Dartmouth still seemed to struggle with the run, averaging 117 fewer rushing yards than its opponents throughout the season. Still, the underclassman duo of Schwieger and Patton has plenty of time to grow and improve, possibly emerging as a formidable two-back combination that will add extra depth to Big Green's offensive strategy.

Early in the season, Dartmouth appeared destined for another disappointing campaign with head coach Buddy Teevens at the helm. With lopsided losses to Colgate and New Hampshire, the Big Green saw things go from bad to worse, as starting quarterback Alex Jenny '10 suffered a dislocated elbow in a discouraging loss to Yale.

Replacement quarterback Connor Kempe '12, however, rose the challenge, averaging 128.9 yards in eight games with seven touchdowns and six interceptions. In the season finale against Princeton, Kempe led a fierce yet ultimately futile rally, throwing for almost 200 yards in the fourth quarter, perhaps displaying a sign of things to come.

Free safety Pete Pidermann '10 was named Dartmouth's most valuable player this season, recording 55 tackles and two blocked kicks, one of which preserved the tie at the end of regulation in Dartmouth's overtime win over Cornell.

Schwieger, who won the offensive underclassman player award, also earned Offensive Player of the Week honors from both Ivy League football and The Sports Network for record-breaking performance against Columbia.

Women's volleyball

The women's squad (13-14, 7-7 Ivy) fought to the season's final set, ending the 2009 campaign with roadtrip losses to Princeton and Ivy champion Penn. In a year of ups-and-downs, the team had its moments of brilliance, including a 3-1 set win over powerhouse Yale. The Big Green, however, could not come up big down the stretch, falling to fifth place in league standings.

After a lackluster roadtrip and subpar home invitation early in the season, Dartmouth jumped to a 2-0 record with two straight wins against rival Harvard, but could not maintain its momentum heading toward mid-season. A five-game slide dashed the Big Green's hopes for its first Ivy title.

Co-captains Megan MacGregor '10 and Morgan Covington '10, combining for 434 kills this season, ended their impressive careers at Dartmouth.

Rugby

On a rain-soaked November day, Dartmouth's 2009-2010 season ended in disappointment in a hotly-contested yet sloppy 6-5 loss to Syracuse University. Despite the Big Green's physical domination on the field, the men's squad was plagued by a series of handling and kicking errors throughout the match, as a spot in the national round of 16 next spring slipped out of Dartmouth's hands.

The loss to the Hammerheads capped off another impressive Ivy season for the Big Green men, who powered through the league with dominating performances. A 35-16 win over Brown at the end of the campaign completed Dartmouth's perfect Ivy season.