The Big Green Weekend Primer
Week three brings the beginning of the Ivy slate for the Dartmouth football and men’s soccer teams, as several others move further into their Ancient Eight schedule.
Women’s volleyball vs. Brown University
(Friday at 7 p.m.)
The women’s volleyball team is off to its hottest start in years, winning 10 of its first 12 games. Though the Big Green has not beaten Brown since 2011, the team looks poised for a leap.
Over the weekend, the Big Green took down last season’s Ancient Eight runner-up, Harvard, in four sets. Since Brown and Harvard play similar offensive styles, look for Dartmouth to come out prepared Friday night.
Dartmouth’s attack, led by Emily Astarita ’17 and Paige Caridi ’16 have tallied nearly 12 kills per set. However, the Big Green has struggled with its starts, winning only five first sets.
Look for Dartmouth to struggle early before powering back for a big win.
Prediction: Dartmouth 3-1
Football vs. the University of Pennsylvania
(Saturday at 1:30 p.m.)
Penn (0-2, 0-0 Ivy) comes into Hanover in the throes of a six-game losing streak and the Big Green (1-1, 0-0 Ivy) should be looking for revenge — Dartmouth hasn’t defeated the Quakers since 2007, and its four-overtime loss in Philadelphia last year cost the Big Green a share of the Ivy League title. That, and the fact that Billy Ragone is no longer calling the shots for the Penn offense, should help the home team. Ragone led the Quakers to three titles in his five years under center and was 5-0 against Dartmouth.
While Penn’s offense has managed to rack up 340 yards per game, it has averaged just 19 points per game (notably, however, that number reflects the fact that the Quakers managed just seven against No. 6 Villanova’s vaunted defense). Dartmouth’s defense will have to tighten up if it wants to compete on Saturday — the Big Green has given up more than 38.5 points per game.
The University of New Hampshire stymied the Big Green attack for much of the game last week. The return of Brian Grove ’16 should help Dalyn Williams ’16 and Kyle Bramble ’16 exploit Penn’s defense, which has given up more than 30 points in both contests.
Over the last four years, these games have consistently been close, and this one should be no different. The home atmosphere should help motivate the Big Green.
Prediction: Dartmouth 28-21
Men’s soccer at Princeton University
(Saturday at 4 p.m.)
Both the Big Green (4-2-1, 0-0 Ivy) and the Tigers (3-2-2, 0-0 Ivy) get Ivy League play underway this Saturday afternoon in New Jersey. The Big Green has not lost a game since its return from the Hoosier State for a tournament against the last two national champions, the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University. Over this five-game unbeaten streak, Dartmouth has outscored its opponents 12-4, including a 2-1 double overtime win over the University of Vermont on Wednesday. Princeton has also not lost since a 3-1 defeat against then-No. 13 Georgetown University on Sept. 17.
Both teams have scored 13 goals this season and, while the Tigers have surrendered 12, the Big Green has only been scored on nine times. The main difference for the Tigers is junior Ben Hummel in net. Hummel has a whopping 25 saves so far this season. Top scorers Alex Adelabu ’15 and Robin Alnas ’15 will have their hands full finding the net.
On the other side of the ball, the Dartmouth defense will have trouble with senior Cameron Porter and junior Thomas Sanner, who each have four goals on the year.
If the Dartmouth D can handle these tough matchups, the Big Green should escape with a win.
Prediction: Dartmouth 2-0
Women’s soccer at Princeton University
(Saturday at 7 p.m.)
Coming off a tough 1-0 overtime loss against Sacred Heart University on Tuesday that ended its five-game unbeaten streak, the Dartmouth women (3-3-2, 0-0-1 Ivy) travel to New Jersey to take on the Tigers (2-3-2, 1-0-0 Ivy).
The Tigers’ last game was a 1-0 win on the road at Yale University. That win was one of the few bright spots for a Tigers team that has been outscored 15-8 this year. This could be tough against a Big Green defense that has held opponents to just six goals, 75 shots and 17 corners all season. Goalkeeper Tatiana Saunders ’15 has been just as impressive, stopping 22 shots and surrendering just 0.92 goals per game. Princeton has managed to rip 107 shots and earn 36 corners, but an inability to convert could come back to haunt them in this contest.
For the Big Green, Lucielle Kozlov ’16 has been the principal offensive threat, scoring four of the team’s nine goals this season.
If Dartmouth can score early, this game should open up and the Big Green could pile on. With two low-scoring offenses, however, one goal could make the difference.
Prediction: Dartmouth 1-0