Women's soccer extends win streak to six games

by Taylor Malmsheimer | 10/28/12 11:00pm

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10.29.12.sports.wsoccer
by Tracy Wang and Tracy Wang / The Dartmouth

Both teams began the game aggressively, with Dartmouth's first scoring opportunity coming in the third minute. Marina Moschitto '14 played a through ball to Chrissy Lozier '14, who used some fancy footwork to sidestep sophomore goalkeeper Bethany Kanten. Lozier's shot just missed the goal, hitting the left post.

In the sixth minute, the Big Green had another scoring opportunity when Corey Delaney '16 beat two Harvard defenders along the left sideline before passing the ball to Emma Brush '13 in the center of the field. Brush lofted a cross in front of the goal, and Libby Hamlin '13 was there to take a shot. Although Hamlin hit the post, Moschitto put the rebound in the back of the net. The Big Green celebrated the goal before an official's offside call negated the score.

Dartmouth maintained its momentum for the next few minutes of play before Harvard (8-5-3, 2-3-1 Ivy) began to settle into the game. The Big Green and the Crimson began to trade possession, and neither team seemed to hold momentum for very long. In the last five minutes of the half, Dartmouth picked up its intensity and began to string together passes. The Big Green kept the ball in Harvard's half but could not capitalize and entered the locker room tied, 0-0.

Dartmouth's defense had a strong first half, and Harvard failed to produce a shot in the period. Even when the Crimson seemed to be controlling play, it never seemed to maintain possession in Dartmouth's penalty area. Dartmoutn coach Theresa Romagnolo said she is proud of the Big Green's defense this season.

Offensively, Dartmouth wanted to focus on going one-on-one more often in the second half, Romagnolo said.

"I felt we were being too passive," Romagnolo said. "I would have liked to see us be a little more aggressive and go at them."

Dartmouth came out attacking in the second half, spreading the field and taking shots from beyond the 18-yard line. The Big Green also focused on getting more crosses off in the second half, captain Aurelia Solomon '13 said.

"We just wanted to come out and take the game because it was ours for the taking," Solomon said.

In the 58th minute, the Big Green had another scoring opportunity when Brush beat two defenders in the midfield and passed the ball wide to Delaney, who lofted a cross into the box. Moschitto received the cross and fired a shot, forcing Kanten to make a diving save. Dartmouth continued to put pressure on Harvard's defense but could not capitalize with a goal. In the 70th minute, Dartmouth's defense cleared the ball to Moschitto, who beat a Harvard defender in the corner to get a cross off. Lozier was in the area but could not get past Kanten, who made another diving save.

In the 75th minute, Dartmouth's perseverance paid off when Brush beat her defender and lined a hard cross into Harvard's penalty area. Wilkins was there to receive it and stepped in front of a diving Kanten to give the Big Green a 1-0 lead.

Following its goal, Dartmouth did not let up, keeping the ball in Harvard's half and recording three shots in the minute following Wilkins' goal. The Big Green's defense also continued to dominate, and Harvard did not record its first shot until the 83rd minute of the game.

In the 85th minute, Wilkins secured the Big Green victory with her second goal of the contest. After beating two defenders in the midfield, Wilkins took a hard shot from just outside the 18-yard line that slipped through Kanten's hands to give Dartmouth a 2-0 lead.

Wilkins has been a huge part of the Big Green's six-game win streak, scoring three goals in the past two games. She previously netted the game-winner against Columbia University on Oct. 20. She has a knack for scoring anywhere around the goal, Romagnolo said.

"Tasha's one who is not afraid to take that long-distance shot," Romagnolo said.

Brush said that Wilkins has the mentality of a pure forward, which contributes to her scrappy style of play and ability to get into the penalty area.

"She just really wants to score," Brush said.

The Big Green outshot the Crimson, 18-1. Both Solomon and Brush said that Dartmouth's defense has been a big part of the team's success offensively.

"It's something we've done really well all season as a team," Solomon said. "Teams don't know what to do [with our defensive pressure]."

The Ivy League title will be determined next weekend when Dartmouth takes on Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and the University of Pennsylvania faces Princeton University in Princeton, N.J. Princeton (12-3-1, 6-0 Ivy) currently sits atop the Ivy League with Penn (9-5-1, 5-1 Ivy League) and Dartmouth tied for second. If Penn loses to Princeton and Dartmouth beats Cornell, Penn, Princeton and Dartmouth will share the Ivy League title. A coin toss would determine which team receives the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

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