Men’s soccer drops two tight games in Seattle

by Ray Lu | 9/23/15 6:01pm

The men’s soccer team suffered two tough losses in Seattle against the now-No. 10 University of Washington this past Friday and Seattle University on Sunday, ending the trip with a 2-3-1 record.

“When we look at these out-of-town weekends, we always want to challenge ourselves,” head coach Chad Riley said. “University of Washington has been very good for the last four or five years, and we knew that they would be a great test.”

The team left campus at 3:45 a.m. last Thursday morning to arrive in Washington for the first game of their road trip. The Huskies came into the game ranked No. 9 in the nation.

The Big Green took a stunning two-goal lead in the first half, but the Huskies dug themselves out of the deficit, scoring three goals in the second half and slotting the game winning goal in the 75th minute on a penalty kick by senior James Moberg.

“One of their forwards had a breakaway,” Matt Danilack ’18 said. “He tried to dribble our keeper, Stefan Cleveland. Cleveland slid, blocked the ball, parried it aside and their forward just tumbled down over Cleveland, and the referee blew the whistle. We don’t think it was a penalty at all, but that’s how the game goes.”

The Huskies mounted their comeback on set pieces. One minute into the second half, Washington freshman Quentin Pearson put Washington on the board by heading in a corner kick. Just three minutes before the penalty, Pearson punched in his second goal of the night off another corner.

“Traditionally [Washington] has been very good at set pieces,” Riley said. “It’s one of the reasons they’re always a strong team.”

The Big Green played hard from the first whistle, and its efforts paid off when Eduvie Ikoba ’19 put a long throw from Tyler Dowse ’18 into the back of the net in the fourth minute. The Huskies mounted the pressure after the early lapse, tallying eight shots in the first half.

Captain Stefan Cleveland ’16 kept Dartmouth in front by tallying four saves in the first half — and six for the game — denying Washington a first half goal. Co-captain Eric Jayne ’15 finished a cross from Alex Marsh ’17 just before halftime to give the Big Green the 2-0 lead. The shot was the team’s third of the period.

Washington was rewarded for generating more opportunities than the Big Green. The Huskies out-shot Dartmouth 16 to 10 and had six corner kicks to the Big Green’s three. Dartmouth was efficient when attacking the net and converted two of its three first-half shots on target into goals.

On Sunday, Dartmouth once again took the lead first before Seattle clawed its way back into the game. Both teams failed to score in the first half, but the Big Green quickly left its mark in the second.

“We really struggled in the first half,” Cleveland said. “I think it was the length of the trip and the first weekend of school and being across the country and having the game on Friday catch up to us. We just came out kind of flat in the first half.”

Just after halftime, Yima Asom ’18 slotted in a Dowse cross just after halftime for the first goal of the match, granting Dartmouth the one-goal lead. Ricardo Gomez ’17 was hit with a red card less than 10 minutes after the Big Green goal, which put the visitors playing a man down for the majority of the second half and left the door wide open for Seattle to get back into the game.

“When we got a really early goal in the second half, I thought for sure we were going to win the game,” Cleveland said. “We got a very unfortunate call — a red card, very debatable — and then we just kind of sat back in our half with 10 men trying to hold onto the lead for the rest of the half.”

The Redhawks took advantage of their man-up opportunity and scored two goals in the final 20 minutes of play to steal the game 2-1, leaving Dartmouth winless in Seattle. Seattle senior Hamza Haddadi scored in the 73rd minute on a header, and Seattle sophomore David Olsen bypassed a couple of Dartmouth defenders to give Seattle the 2-1 lead with 10 minutes to play. That one-goal deficit for the Big Green held until time expired.

“It was definitely frustrating to lose that game,” Cleveland said. “Both of the games we felt robbed, almost.”

The men’s soccer team plays its home opener at 5 p.m. against Hofstra University this Saturday. No. 18 Hofstra will come to Hanover with a 6-1-0 record.

“I think it’ll be nice to get back home. [Hofstra] is good in the attack too,” Riley said.