Final previews for football, men’s soccer and women’s hockey
As the end of the fall rapidly approaches, fall sports teams are wrapping up their seasons and putting the finishing touches on their pursuit of Ivy League championships. Men’s soccer and women’s rugby have already clinched Ivy League titles, while football remains in the hunt for the Ancient Eight crown. For some Big Green teams, this weekend of games also marks some of the season’s first action. In honor of the last weekend of the fall term, The Dartmouth decided to bring back an old tradition, the Big Green Weekend Primer, where the sports editors give their predictions on the weekend to come.
Football at Brown University
(Saturday at 12:30 p.m.)
This has been a banner season for Big Green football (7-1, 4-1 Ivy) with Dartmouth coming within a single point of an elusive undefeated mark to this point in the year. While the team has astounded some with its play to this point in the year, the last three weeks have marked a small though perceptible drop-off in play for the Big Green. After winning each of its first five games by more than 20 points, Dartmouth’s last three games have been relative nailbiters, with two decided by single digits. The Big Green’s problems with penalties have also come to the forefront as the team has committed at least 15 penalties in two of the last three games.
Still, despite these struggles, Dartmouth should still be favored against an inconsistent Brown football team. Brown (4-4, 2-3 Ivy) has seen the wrong end of a few crooked scores this year, falling by 20 points or more against the University of Pennsylvania and Yale University. The Bears’ 20-point victory over Cornell University, however, outmatched the Big Green’s 18-point margin over the Big Red last week.
The biggest offensive threat that Dartmouth will have to contain is Brown’s senior wide receiver Troy Doles. Averaging over 100 yards per game receiving, Doles has showcased remarkable skill and scored in all but two of Brown’s games to date. Doles has three games with receptions of more than 50 yards this season and will be able to capitalize on even the slightest mistake in the Big Green secondary.
Dartmouth will have the advantage on offense, though, as Brown’s defense has been mediocre at best. Brown has allowed 34 points per game, the worst in the Ivy League. When Dalyn Williams ’16 gets a look at the vulnerable Bears, he should be able to pick them apart with relative ease.
Prediction: Dartmouth 38-6
Men’s soccer at Brown
(Saturday at 5:00 p.m.)
The men’s soccer team (11-4-1, 6-0 Ivy) has already clinched the Ivy League title, but the team should have plenty of motivation on Saturday with the chance for an undefeated Ivy League season on the line. Dartmouth has not gone undefeated in Ivy League play since 2004 and has never finished without a loss or tie in Ivy League play. Brown (9-5-2, 3-1-2 Ivy), currently at third place in the Ivy League, will certainly pose a stiff challenge to the Big Green.
Dartmouth’s strength in Ivy League play this season has been its stout defense. The Big Green has only allowed one goal in its six Ivy League games up to this point. Though the Big Green offense is averaging just a hair over a goal per game in Ancient Eight competition, that has been enough for a 6-0 record to date.
Brown has a more balanced stat-line than Dartmouth, though it appears worse on both offense and defense. Brown has scored just seven goals in Ivy League play and allowed five.
Brown’s top scorer is a freshman, Jack Hagstrom, who has tallied five goals in his first year in a Bears uniform. Hagstrom has not scored in the past month, but did notch an assist in Brown’s last game against Yale University. The Big Green will have to work to slow the freshman, but if they do so, should be in the catbird’s seat.
Prediction: Dartmouth 1-0
Women’s hockey vs. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
(Friday at 7:00 p.m.)
Dartmouth’s women’s ice hockey team has had a tempestuous and inconsistent start to the season, a start more exciting than the team’s 2-2-2 record seems to indicate. In the Big Green’s season opener, it upset No. 5 Harvard University by a score of 2-1, seemingly pointing to great success ahead. In the team’s only other battle against a ranked opponent this year, Dartmouth once again put together an impressive effort by earning a tie against No. 4 Clarkson University. These two results would seem to position Dartmouth as one of the best teams in the country and certainly as a favorite against an unranked RPI squad. The Big Green’s other games, however, have not gone as smoothly. Dartmouth has fallen to both St. Lawrence University and the University of Maine, both unranked teams, by at least two goals. If Dartmouth hopes to be a true contender in the ECAC, it will have to tighten its game up against opponents that are less well-regarded than Harvard and Clarkson.
RPI (4-5-1) dropped its first three games of the season, but comes into Thompson Arena on a relative hot streak, having just taken down the same Clarkson team that Dartmouth tied early in the season. Dartmouth did take down the Engineers both times that the squads met last season, a good omen for the Big Green’s chances on Friday.
If the Big Green can get good performances from leading goalscorer Lindsey Allen ’16 and can even out the kinks that have rattled them against unranked teams, the squad should be able to take down the Engineers.
Prediction: Dartmouth 4-3