Soccer loses to Friars in first round
Maarten van Ess '12 recorded the first shot of the game in the fourth minute of play, but Providence soon received a shooting opportunity when Dartmouth committed a pair of fouls in the 11th minute. Providence sophomore Greg Davis played the ball to junior Marc Cintron, who crossed to senior John Raley on the far-left side. Raley drove a low ball into the bottom-right corner of the net to give the Friars a one-goal lead.
Co-captain Lucky Mkosana '12 said the early goal altered the course of the match.
"The goal really changed things," Mkosana said. "I think we responded well in the second half and tried our best until the end."
Dartmouth spent the rest of the game attempting to even the score with quality shots. Mkosana rocketed a shot in the 15th minute, but it was blocked by the Providence defense. The ensuing Dartmouth corner kick failed to produce a significant chance on goal.
Providence then managed a pair of shots within a minute of each other, but both fell wide of the post.
The Big Green responded with two shots of its own on either side of the 20-minute mark. One shot by Mkosana was blocked and another from Colin Skelly '14 sent the ball over the crossbar.
Both teams made substitutions late in the first half to replace fatigued players, leading to a flurry of shots. Kevin Dzierzawski '13 forced Providence senior goalkeeper Jhojan Obando to make his first save of the game, before Alex Adelabu '15 sent a shot high with 10 minutes to play in the half.
Providence was relentless down the stretch, sending two shots and a corner kick towards Dartmouth goalie Noah Cohen '14.
Both teams came out energized and hoping to claim the win after halftime.
The Big Green earned a corner kick five minutes into the second half, but no Dartmouth player managed to get a clean touch to keep Dzierzawski's ball in the box.
Providence nearly scored an insurance goal in the 52nd minute, when a shot by Raley struck the post. The Big Green committed a series of five fouls, including a yellow card, after the scare.
Dzierzawski stepped up in the 60th minute, firing two shots within 63 seconds, but both attempts missed the goal. Dzierzawski remained a major force in the Big Green attack, taking back-to-back corner kicks.
Van Ess headed the ball following another Dartmouth yellow card, but Obando grabbed it out of the air. Still searching for a security goal, Frairs sophomore Wilder Arboleda sent a shot towards Cohen that sailed wide in the 79th minute.
Both teams increased their intensity as time wound down, and Providence was booked with a yellow card. No shots were taken in the final 10 minutes of the match, however.
Head coach Jeff Cook praised the Big Green for battling through the entire match, and said the team played well overall.
"Unfortunately we lost that first goal, which handed the advantage to Providence," Cook said. "In the second half, the guys showed great effort and were pressing to get the goal back. We had a few really good opportunities to do so but we were not able to get that very important tying goal."
Cook said he was "very proud of the team" despite the loss.
"I think we are all a little stunned right now but there are definitely lots of positives to take away from this season," he said.
Mkosana, who was named Ivy League Player of the Year on Wednesday, added that he was "really devastated" that the loss would be his last game with Dartmouth's underclassmen.
"I would tell the younger guys to really enjoy every part of it," Mkosana said. "They should try to work harder and give it their all in every practice and game."
Providence will advance to the second round of NCAA tournament play, competing against the 15th-ranked University of California, Santa Barbara (14-6-1, 6-4-0 Big West) on Sunday in California.