The Big Green Weekend Primer

by Blaze Joel | 9/25/14 3:12pm

Week two brings both the return of the Granite Bowl and the beginning of Ivy League play for several Dartmouth teams. With the Ancient Eight slate on tap or in the near future for the Big Green, teams are looking to keep their momentum going.

Men’s soccer vs. Fordham University(Saturday at 3 p.m.)After collecting a 4-0 win over the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and a hard fought 2-2 draw versus the College of the Holy Cross, the Big Green (2-2-1) return home to face Fordham (3-3-1) on Saturday. The Rams are a far different team on the road (0-2-1) than at home (3-0-0) and the Dartmouth men are always a tough match at home, which will be to the Big Green’s advantage on Saturday afternoon.Fordham just dropped a 2-0 contest against Ancient Eight foe Columbia University and has only scored once on the road this season. Meanwhile, Dartmouth’s offense seems to be coming into its own, with eight of its nine season goals coming in its last three games. If the offense can handle senior Sean Brailey, who has 33 saves this season, the Big Green should be able to win against an offense that has only notched 27 shots on net.Prediction: Dartmouth 2 - 0

Volleyball vs. Harvard University(Saturday at 4 p.m.)The volleyball team (9-2) opens its Ivy slate Saturday at home against a Harvard team (7-2) that has already beaten the University of Georgia and Boston College this year and looks to be among the top teams in the Ivy League. The Big Green is coming off a strong win against Bryant University, when the Bulldogs did not lead after the first set.In order to win, the Dartmouth women must attack and defend like they did against Bryant, when the Big Green struck 41 kills to 11 errors. Both teams are good in extended games — the Big Green is 5-0 in matches of four or more sets, and the Crimson is 5-1. This one looks primed to go the distance.Prediction: Harvard 3 – 2

Football at No. 7 University of New Hampshire (Saturday at 6 p.m.)The football team (1-0) hasn’t played UNH (2-1) in five years and is now faced with the daunting task of playing the No. 7 team in the nation in the first night game ever at Cowell Stadium in Durham, where Dartmouth has not won a game since 1969. This game will challenge the Big Green.UNH has one of the most nation’s prolific offenses, averaging 494 yards and over 31 points per game in the early season. While the Wildcats will be without their starting quarterback, backup Andy Vailas is no let-up at the position, having had a prolific college career of his own.For the Big Green to have a chance in what promises to be a shootout, the offense must click on all cylinders. UNH’s defense seems susceptible and is averaging almost 27 points against in its two FCS games. Dalyn Williams ’16, Ryan McManus ’15 and Kyle Bramble ’16 will have to come up huge to try to keep pace, especially when the Dartmouth D is coming off a game in which it surrendered 475 total yards.Prediction: UNH 38 – 24

Women’s soccer vs. Brown University (Sunday at 1 p.m.)The women’s soccer team (3-2-1) is riding a four-game unbeaten streak into its Ivy opener against Brown (3-4). Last season, the Bears, who finished tied for third in the Ancient Eight, split the season series with the Big Green with the home team winning both contests.That trend should continue on Sunday, as the Dartmouth women have not lost at home since Oct. 1, 2012, against then-No. 20 Pepperdine University 1-0.The Dartmouth women have also scored seven goals in their last three games and have only allowed four goals this season. The backline and goalkeeping has been superb, holding opponents this season to 56 shots and 16 corner kicks. Brown’s offense has struggled at times, scoring in only four games this year, but it has scored twice in three of those contests.Prediction: Dartmouth 1 – 0