More than 1,400 fans watched the men’s soccer team overcome a relatively uneven first half with a huge rally in the second period to defeat Yale University 4-1 Saturday. The Big Green (7-2-1, 2-0-0 Ivy) continued its success at Burnham Field with a resounding win against the Bulldogs (0-8-2, 0-2-0 Ivy), who are 0-5 in away games this season.
“We knew it was going to be tough,” head coach Chad Riley said. “There was a lot of pressure on us to start the home Ivy slate on a good note, but I think we got a good start for league play.”
Gabe Hoffman-Johnson ’14 ripped a shot on goal in the first minute of action,starting things off on the right note for Dartmouth. The Big Green kept up its intensity, and in the fourth minute, Hugh Danilack ’15 connected with Alex Adelabu ’15 for a header goal after a throw-in by Tyler Dowse ’18 to give Dartmouth a 1-0 lead.
“It felt great to score the first goal,” Adelabu said. “Usually after the first score, the players aren’t too frantic and it calms everybody down.”
In the 12th minute, Yale responded with a goal of its own to knot the score at one apiece. Dartmouth closed the half strong with Jonathan Nierenberg ’18, Alberto Gorini ’16 and Matt Danilack ’18 taking shots on goal unanswered by the Bulldogs. None found the back of the net, however, leaving the score tied at 1-1 before the second-half.
“During the half, we talked about doing a few tactical things a bit better,” Riley said. “But we have a really mature team and senior leaders who are great at focusing on building their intensity throughout the game.”
In the 48th minute of play, Yale midfielder Lukas Czinger drew a yellow card, helping spark a rejuvenated Big Green attack. The foul led to two shots on goal by Gorini and Hoffman-Johnson within 20 seconds. The Big Green recovered from these missed opportunities as Nierenberg scored in the 59th minute off an assist by Dowse.
Nierenberg wasn’t done. He struck again to give the Big Green more breathing room. In the 64th minute, Nierenberg sliced through the Yale defense, dribbling past a few Bulldog defenders before rocketing the ball into the back of the net from 25 yards away.
“It was a close first half,” Nierenberg said. “But we had good chemistry in the second half and came up with quick goals for a great game.”
Even with a two goal lead, the Big Green did not ease up. With 13 minutes to play, Adelabu and Matt Danilack charged the net and forced Yale’s goalkeeper to fumble the ball. It ricocheted back out to Adelabu who slid it to Hugh Danilack for a goal in the 77th minute. Though Dartmouth generated more scoring opportunities, the team could not tally another goal.
“I think that even when we’re succeeding, we know not to just focus on winning,” Adelabu said. “We need to be cautious and remain focused.”
The lopsided score showed Dartmouth’s impressive offense as the team outshot Yale, 14-3 overall. The Big Green’s defenders helped generate offense off of Yale’s miscues in the offensive zone.
“It felt great to win by such a margin,” Nierenberg said. “The first half was kind of tight, but we need to work hard no matter what and I think that showed.”
The Big Green won its fifth consecutive match, seventh in its last eight games. The team also put up its second four-goal game of the year after its resounding 4-0 victory over the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.
The men will have several days to recover before facing a stalwart opponent, Boston University, at Burnham Field on Tuesday. The Terriers are currently 8-2-1 overall, riding a seven game unbeaten streak.
The team will continue Ivy League play against the University of Pennsylvania on Saturday at 7 p.m. as part of the College’s Homecoming Weekend, looking to extend its unbeaten streak to nine.