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The Dartmouth
May 19, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Field hockey squad clinches first 11-win season since 2002

11.05.12.sports.fieldhockey
11.05.12.sports.fieldhockey

With 56 seconds remaining in the game, McPherson scored her fourth goal of the year to propel the Big Green to victory. McPherson scored off a redirect of a shot from Ali Savage '15 against the Big Red's (8-9, 3-4 Ivy) Carolyn Horner, one of the best goalkeepers in the Ivy League all season, who recorded four saves against the Big Green on Saturday.

Not only did McPherson score the game-winner, but she also brought the Big Green back from a one-goal deficit after Cornell took the lead late in the first half. McPherson scored the equalizer 3:58 into the second half to tie the game and set up her heroic finish. Teammate and co-captain Lisa Masini '13 was credited with her seventh assist of the fall on the play, ranking her first on the team in the assist category.

"I have never been more excited to score in my life," McPherson said. "It was beyond surreal. The team played so well and had so many great opportunities. I was so happy to be able to get that final tip in to give us the lead after the whole team worked hard to get it there. Finishing my collegiate career on such a high note was more than I could have ever imagined."

Although Cornell made a desperate push to send the game into overtime, attempting a penalty corner with just 10 seconds remaining, Dartmouth was not to be denied, emerging with a hard-earned 2-1 victory.

"Our defense played amazingly," McPherson said. "They were able to find the space and really generate a lot for us offensively. Defenders get overlooked too often because they don't have scoring stats, but the offense starts with the possession and decision-making of the defense, and they really shined today."

Jenna Stearns '13 recorded three saves in her final start in goal for the Big Green, including two saves in the second half that would prove to be pivotal in the outcome of the game.

"We won today as a team," McPherson said. "That's a reason our program has been so successful this year. We go out, play hard and we play for each other. If a I miss a tackle, I know one of my teammates is there to get my back. That trust gives us all the confidence we need to go out each game and play our best."

Dartmouth's 11 wins were its highest total since 2002, and the Big Green's second-place finish was its highest in the Ivy League since 2005. Dartmouth's only Ivy loss came against Princeton on Sept. 15. The Tigers clinched the title with a 7-0 win over the University of Pennsylvania on Saturday.

"Going into the final game of the season, we wanted to lay it all out there," co-captain Maya Herm '13 said. "A loss wouldn't have put us out of second place, but it would have devalued it and would have put us at 10-7 rather than 11-6. The weather was definitely a factor it was snowing and sleeting, and it really froze our hands, but we battled through, as always, and were able to come back from their first goal."

Dartmouth coach Amy Fowler has now recorded four 11-win seasons during her 13-year career at Dartmouth. This season also marks the eighth time in program history since is founding in 1972 that the Big Green has won 11 or more games.

"A focus for this season was belief," Sam Anderson '14 said. "Inspired by our five seniors, we were constantly striving to believe in everything that we did both on and off the field. With an innovative energy coming from our three new staff members, our team was able to develop a chemistry that this program has never seen before."

Even though Dartmouth's season is over, Masini will play in one more game, as she was one of 38 players selected to play in the 2012 National Field Hockey Coaches' Association Division I Senior Game on Nov. 17, hosted by Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. Masini was one of just three players chosen from the Ivy League to play in the game.

Masini has recorded nine goals, including two game-winners, this season, a career-best total that placed her fifth in the Ivy rankings. She ranked seventh in the league with six assists.

"We had one of the best seasons since the early 2000s," Anderson said. "As a junior on the team, I am hopeful that the returning players can create a similar atmosphere for next year's season as we continue to build on the legacy of our '13s. Ultimately, this year's accomplishments will lead us toward our definitive goal of becoming Ivy League champions."