Big Green stays in action over break

| 12/1/09 11:00pm
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12.02.09.sports.wBasketball
by Nicholas Root and Nicholas Root / The Dartmouth

After making a list and checking it twice, here are the best games and competitions that students will be missing over break:

Men's Basketball

The men's basketball team (1-4, 0-0 Ivy) has gotten off to a slow start this year. Since losing one of the most prolific scorers to put on a Dartmouth jersey, Alex Barnett '09, the Big Green has yet to find a replacement go-to scorer. David Rufful '12, Jabari Trotter '12 and Robby Pride '10 have, however, led the team to strong performances and to Dartmouth's first victory of the season over the University of Hartford last weekend.

The break will feature some tough matchups for the Big Green, particularly games against Army and Colgate University. Last season, the Big Green held an 11-point lead against the Black Knights (5-1, 0-0 Patriot), only to see Army go on a 21-4 run to win the game. Dartmouth will hope to produce solid offensive play this year, while also clamping down on defense to hold onto its advantage.

Colgate (0-6, 0-0 Patriot) will also prove to be a challenging for the Big Green, but a strong team effort should propel Dartmouth to a competitive victory. Colgate is winless so far this year, but has faced tough competition, including No. 7 Syracuse University.

Women's Basketball

Since winning its season opener against Bryant University, the Big Green women's basketball team has dropped four straight games. Although the team is lacking in scoring and defense, the play of forward Brittney Smith '11 has been strong. The team will play tough games over break against powerful teams, including Syracuse University and the University of Dayton.

Syracuse (6-0, 0-0 Big East) stands undefeated this season and has seen notable performances by senior forward Nicole Michael, who is averaging nearly 20 points. Another junior guard, Erica Morrow, was recently named Big East Player of the Week. This game, which should feature some solid up and down play, will definitely push the Big Green's defense to play its best.

No. 25 Dayton (6-1, 0-0 Atlantic 10) will be a definite test for the Big Green, and could provide a glimpse of how the rest of the team's season will play out. Dartmouth will try to dampen Dayton's recent success the team has climbed into the national rankings for the first time in school history and steal away the Flyers' holiday cheer with a Big Green victory.

Women's Hockey

The Dartmouth women's hockey team has had some tough games this season, but trails Cornell by just four points in the ECAC Hockey League standings. Sarah Parsons '10 and Amanda Trunzo '11 have led the team in points this season, and fans should look for a strong showing against the No. 3 University of New Hampshire (10-1-4, 5-0-1 Hockey East) at home on Dec. 12.

Although it will surely be a difficult game, the Big Green can look forward to the fact New Hampshire's only loss has come on the road. It should be a low-scoring, high-intensity, gritty game that the team will look to use as a foundation for the rest of the season.

Men's Hockey

The men's hockey team was tripping over itself early this season, but has now won three straight and hopes to further improve over break. One game to pay special attention to will be the team's match against the University of Vermont (6-5-1, 4-4-1 Hockey East). The Catamounts beat the Big Green last year in overtime, so Dartmouth will be looking for revenge this year when it takes them on in Burlington, Vt.

Dartmouth will also host the Ledyard National Bank Classic on Jan. 2-3 at Thompson Arena, where the Big Green will welcome Holy Cross, Sacred Heart University and the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. Dartmouth took the challenge last year with a 4-2 win over Bemidji State University in the championship game.

This break, after you get bored of making snow angels or sitting by the pool, grab some eggnog and your laptop and follow the Big Green in action I promise it will be more entertaining that watching Home Alone for the 12th time and polishing off your 15th Taquito of the day.