With Ivy title on the line, men’s soccer to battle Brown

by Nick Harrington | 11/13/14 5:47pm

In the most crucial game of the year so far, the men’s soccer team (10-4-2, 4-1-1 Ivy League) takes on Brown University (5-5-6, 2-2-2 Ivy) Saturday on Burnham Field, looking to win its first Ancient Eight title since 2011.

The Big Green is tied with Princeton University for first in the Ivy League. Both teams will play their last games of the regular season Saturday.

With a win against the Bears, Dartmouth could claim at least a share of the Ivy League title and secure an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

En route to this critical match, defender Nick Rooney ’15 said the team has faced a few challenges.

“I think we had our rough patch in the middle of the season. You hate to say any rough patch is good timing but the two straight losses to Boston University and Penn really kind of woke everybody up, and now we all realize what is at stake,” Rooney said.

The Big Green is coming off of a strong 3-0 win last weekend against Cornell University.

And this momentum should propel the team forward, Stefan Defregger ’15 said.

“We battled and won decisively,” Defregger said of the Cornell match. “We are pretty confident going into this weekend. We’ve been having a really good season and I think we’d all agree we are starting to play our best at the end of the year.”

This week, the Big Green breached the top 25 in the latest NSCAA poll.

Wyatt Omsberg ’18 continues to be a top rookie in the Ivy League, picking up his second Rookie of the Week award in the past three weeks.

The Bears have struggled this season in Ivy League play, but have seen good results recently. The Bears, ranked fourth in the league, are coming off a tie against Penn and a 1-0 win against Yale.

Defregger noted that although the team’s record may not show it, Brown poses a legitimate threat.

“Brown is a good team. They’re always a good team,” Defregger said. “They’ve had some bad luck throughout the year. They’ve tied a lot of games against a lot of good teams.”

Brown is led by point leaders junior Jack Gorab and senior Ben Maurey, who each have 10 points on this season. Maurey has four goals and Gorab has two.

Defregger was quick to highlight what this game meant for the senior class.

“We won the Ivy League title our freshman year, but few of the seniors now were actually contributing on the field so for us, with the past couple of seasons being a little disappointing, this is our chance to leave our mark on the program,” Defregger said.

Nick Ford ’17 credited much of the team’s progress this season to the senior class.

“Of course, there is no other place in the world to play like Burnham. Imagining that it is the last game we’ll play there is just colossal for us,” Rooney said. “The fans are so great. No other team in the country has what we have here at home.”

The game kicks off at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Possible Scenarios

If Dartmouth loses, Princeton loses and Harvard wins:

Harvard wins Ivy title.

Harvard receives automatic bid.

If Dartmouth loses/ties and Princeton wins:

Princeton wins Ivy title.

Princeton receives automatic bid.

If Dartmouth wins or Dartmouth ties and Princeton loses/ties or Dartmouth loses, Princeton loses and Harvard loses/ties:

Dartmouth earns at least a share of the Ivy title.

Dartmouth receives an automatic bid.