Princeton uses two late goals to defeat women's soccer team

by Taylor Malmsheimer | 9/30/12 10:00pm

Trying to improve on its four-game win streak, the Dartmouth women's soccer team fell just short on Saturday, losing to Princeton University, 2-1, in Princeton, N.J. The teams played 74:31 without a goal before both offenses began to capitalize on scoring opportunities. Despite a late goal by Chrissy Lozier '14, the Big Green (6-3, 1-1 Ivy) could not overcome two goals by the Tigers (6-3-1, 2-0 Ivy) and suffered its first Ivy League loss of the season.

Dartmouth began the game aggressively, tallying the first four shots of the match. About 10 minutes into the game, Lozier fired a shot just over the top of the crossbar, and for the next five minutes Dartmouth peppered the Tiger goal with shots.

Co-captain Kim Rose '13 had the best scoring opportunity early on, launching a shot from midfield that required a difficult save by Princeton's goalkeeper, senior Claire Pinciaro.

Princeton's defense held strong, though, and did not allow the Big Green to capitalize. About 15 minutes into the game, both teams settled down, and scoring chances were few and far between. The next shot of the game did not occur until the 35th minute, when Pinciaro once again saved a hard shot by Rose.

"The first half was a grind," co-captain Emma Brush '13 said.

The Tigers finally recorded their first shot in the 40th minute, but Big Green goalkeeper Tatiana Saunders '15 was equal to it. In the last minutes of the first half, Princeton's offense finally turned it on, firing four shots in five minutes. Dartmouth's defense could not be broken, however, and the teams went into halftime deadlocked at 0-0.

Aggressive play and physicality dominated the first half, as Dartmouth committed six fouls and the Tigers committed eight.

"At halftime, we emphasized what we had been doing so well at the beginning of the first half," Brush said. "We wanted to stay confident from the fact that we can ride the storm and then attack when we get the momentum going our way."

The second half began with re-energized offense on both sides. In the first 10 minutes of the half, the Big Green fired three shots and won three corner kicks. Princeton also came out strong, with two shots and two corner kicks in the same amount of time.

Dartmouth soon began to dominate offensively but could not capitalize on any of its scoring opportunities.

"For the majority of the game, we were setting the pace of attacking," co-captain Aurelia Solomon '13 said. "Their goalie made a lot of unbelievable saves, so you've got to give her some credit."

In the 74th minute, Princeton junior Kacie Kergides took a corner kick. She launched the ball to senior Caitlin Blosser, who headed it to sophomore Lauren Lazo. Lazo's header found the back of the net for her first goal of the season.

The Tigers took advantage of this momentum shift and scored again just four minutes later. This time, Lazo launched a shot from the right corner of the penalty area that slipped by Saunders.

"It was one of those games where it was just going to be something special that happens [to get the win]," Solomon said.

Dartmouth refused to quit and responded just 50 seconds later with a goal of its own. Marina Moschitto '14 sent the ball into the penalty box and Lozier headed it into the back of the net to make the score 2-1. Dartmouth's best opportunity to tie the game came in the 80th minute when Solomon had a shot on goal, but Pinciaro made the save, sending Dartmouth to its first loss in five games.

"Princeton's defense was very strong and they were obviously very experienced," Lozier said. "We had the opportunities and we couldn't put them away."

The Big Green seemed to dominate the game offensively, outshooting Princeton 16-9. Lozier had a team-high six shots and Libby Hamlin '13 added four shots. Dartmouth also held the advantage on corner kicks, 5-3.

"We're just continuing to create chances and go at people and get shots off," Solomon said. "A lot of people who don't shoot as much are taking chances, so that was exciting."

Dartmouth will take a break from Ivy League play today as the team takes on No. 20 Pepperdine University in a non-conference battle at 2 p.m. at Burnham Field.

"We are so excited because it's the most fun to play teams that are ranked high," Brush said. "It's really fun being an underdog. In the Ivy League, there's a ton of pressure, and this game has so much less pressure, so it should be really fun."