Big Green Weekend Primer
The final week of classes brings high drama to the fields of Hanover, as the football team fights to stay alive for the Ivy League title and the men’s soccer team could secure an NCAA Tournament berth with a win. The women’s cross country team is competing for a spot in the national championships, running in the Northeast Regionals.
Football vs. Brown University(12 p.m. Saturday)The Big Green (6-2, 4-1 Ivy) squares off against a Brown team (4-4, 2-3 Ivy) that has been competitive in every game this season, falling to undefeated Harvard University 22-14 in late September. The Big Green lost to the Crimson 23-12 two weeks ago. The Big Green needs to win out and hope for an upset of Harvard by either the University of Pennsylvania or Yale University to earn a share of the Ivy title.Brown has had two two-game winning streaks and a two-game losing streak this season. Every Brown game but a 42-16 blowout win against Cornell University has been within two possessions. The last three games in the Dartmouth-Brown series have also been close, with the Big Green taking two of the last three. Both teams allow nearly identical points per game – the Big Green at 22.4 and the Bears at 22.1.Offensively, the parallels continue. The Big Green barely outgains the Bears 391.1 to 390.2 yards per game. The biggest difference has been on the ground, where Dartmouth has a 155-115 edge in rushing yards per game. Quarterback Marcus Fuller has been the top option for the Brown offense, throwing for almost 2,200 yards and 12 touchdowns. If a Big Green defensive front seven that amassed six sacks against Cornell can repeat its performance against the Bears, the team could find success in slowing the Brown attack. The Bears rank 15th in the nation in passing yards per game and have a trio of talented receivers who will challenge the Big Green secondary.Defensively, the Bears have only allowed 127.5 yards per game on the ground and 240.2 through the air. Ignoring a 45-42 shootout against the Bulldogs last week, the Bears have allowed fewer than 19 points per game this season. The Bears’ defense should challenge a Big Green offense led by Dalyn Williams ’16, Kyle Bramble ’16 and Ryan McManus ’15 that amassed 583 yards last week and averages 391 yards per game on the year.PREDICTION: Dartmouth 24-17Men’s soccer vs. Brown(5 p.m. Saturday)The No. 25 men’s soccer team (10-4-2, 4-1-1 Ivy) is tied with Princeton University (10-3-3, 4-1-1 Ivy) at the top of the Ancient Eight standings. A win by the Big Green guarantees the Dartmouth men an NCAA Tournament bid due to the team’s 2-1 overtime victory over the Tigers earlier this year. Harvard University (10-4-2, 3-1-2 Ivy) is still alive for the postseason, but needs both Dartmouth and the Tigers to lose.The Big Green face the Bears (5-5-6, 2-2-2 Ivy) while the Tigers play eighth-place Yale University (1-12-3, 0-5-1 Ivy). With the Tigers having the seemingly easier matchup, the Big Green must win to be assured of its fate.The Big Green has more than doubled the Bears’ offensive output during both conference play and the full season, tallying 12-5 and 30-14 advantages in goals, respectively. Brown has the advantage in goals allowed for the season, but both teams have only surrendered five goals in the Ivy League. Brown has four players who have scored multiple goals this season, compared to eight for the Big Green. Forwards Ben Maurey and Will Cross lead the Brown attack, with four and three goals, respectively. But the scoring tails off quickly as only seven Bears have found the net this season. Alex Adelabu ’15 and Hugh Danilack ’15 lead a Big Green offense that has seen 14 men score goals this year.The back lines for both teams are stout. Brown goalkeeper Mitch Kupstas has a goals against average of 0.92 this year, but has only earned four wins. The senior has six shutouts on the season. Stefan Cleveland ’16 has been equally impressive, with five shutouts and eight wins in 13 games.If the Big Green can break through the Bears’ defense once, Dartmouth should take the game and Ivy League.PREDICTION: Dartmouth 1-0
Women’s cross country Northeast Regionals(12 p.m. Friday)After an impressive win at Heps two weeks ago, the women’s cross country team enters Friday’s Northeast Regionals with a chance to qualify for the NCAA championships for the second straight year. The team is ranked 22nd in the nation by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, tied with regional rivals Syracuse University. The top team in the region is Iona University, ranked 17th. The top two teams in Friday’s race receive automatic bids to the NCAAs.Sarah DeLozier ’15 and Dana Giordano ’16 both finished in the top 20 at regionals last year and will be looking to improve on their performances. If the team maintains a strong pack as it did at Heps, it should be able to take down Syracuse and receive an automatic bid to the NCAAs.PREDICTION:Dartmouth finishes second