The Preseason Roundup

by Ashley DuPuis | 9/11/16 11:25pm

sports_fieldhockeyweb_annieduncan1020x576

Field hockey is 1-3 to start the season.

by Kate Herrington / The Dartmouth

Volleyball

Finishing third in Ivy League play with a program best of 9-5 in regular season play, the Big Green’s 21-player roster will see 16 returnees, including eight seniors, comprising the largest graduating class in the program’s 23-year history. Looking to improve on last year’s record-breaking season, Dartmouth women’s volleyball returned to the court on Sept. 2 as part of the Sacred Heart Hampton Inn Invitational.

In their first match of the season, the Big Green faced the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, sweeping the Panthers in three sets. The team went on to dominate the tournament, defeating George Mason University and Sacred Heart University in each set. The Big Green, returning to Hanover on Sept. 9 for the Dartmouth Invitational, again displayed impressive prowess on the court. The team prevailed over Central Connecticut State University, Niagara University and University of Hartford but suffered their first loss of the season against the United States Military Academy.

The Big Green will continue tournament play next week at the West Virginia Invitational Sept. 16 to 17. The regular season will kick off on Friday, Sept. 23 in a home match versus Harvard University. The team will be led by captains Emily Astarita ’17 and Kaira Lujan ’16, under the direction of new head coach Gilad Doron and first year assistant coaches Eyal Zimet and Tara Hittle.

Women's Soccer

Despite finishing seventh in the Ivy League, Dartmouth women’s soccer allowed only 12 goals during the 2015 season, which was the second-fewest goals allowed in the Ivy League. Looking to improve on last year’s overall record of 8-4-4, the Big Green will rely on the strengths of returning and incoming players to compensate the loss of four seniors to graduation, including last season’s leading scorer Lucille Kozlov ’16. The team will be captained by veterans Holly Patterson ’17 and Hayley Snyder ’17, and has added seven rookies to the roster.

Kicking off the 2016 season, the Big Green returned to the field on Aug. 26, defeating Marist College at home 1-0 after two overtimes. The team continued its home field attack triumphing over Iona College 3-0. The early win streak ended with a loss at Wake Forest College on the road, followed by a win at Gardner-Webb University. The Big Green returned home this past week with another loss against Central Michigan and a 1-0 win against Fairleigh Dickinson on Sunday.

The team has two more preseason games lined up before starting Ivy League play on Sept. 25 at home facing Brown University.

Men's Soccer

The Big Green stands to defend their back-to-back Ivy League titles in the coming season. The past two years have been record-breaking seasons, garnering the team’s most wins in a two-year stretch in program history.

In 2015, Dartmouth returned to the NCAA College Cup, defeating Hartwick College in the first round in an overtime win before falling to Syracuse University in the second round. If the Big Green claims another championship this season, it will be the first team to win three consecutive Ivy League titles since the late 1980s, when the Columbia University Lions won eight consecutive titles from 1978 to 1985.

Several key players will return from last season, including Amadu Kunateh ’19, who earned Co-Ivy League Rookie of the Year honors, and Wyatt Omsberg ’18, who was named to the College Soccer News Preseason All-America Third Team and to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Hermann Trophy watch list.

The team will also see a strong and deep leadership bench with captains James Hickok ’17 and Manny Arteaga ’17, and assistant captains Omsberg, Tyler Dowse ’18 and Matt Danilack ’18. Reigning Ivy League Coach of the Year Chad Riley will also return to the team for his fourth year as head coach. Joining him will be assistant Ryan Fahey, bringing three years experience with the team, and new assistant coach Brian Plotkin.

The Big Green began its season at the start of the month, ending its two first games, against the University of Kentucky and Xavier University, in double overtime ties. Over the last week, the team held its home opener against the University of Washington, a game which ended in the Big Green’s first lost of the season. On Sunday, the team bounced back to gain a late game victory over Seattle University. Regular season play will commence at Princeton University on Oct. 1.

Rugby

In its second year as a varsity team, the Big Green looks to defend its Ivy League 15s title this coming season. Last year’s play came to a rousing conclusion with a comeback win over the defending champion Brown University Bears. The team looks to build off of last year’s success and raise the level of competition, scheduling seven teams that qualified for the inaugural Women’s Rugby Varsity 15s National Championship last year on this year’s calendar.

The 2016 campaign kicked off on Sept. 3 in a home opener against American International College. Dartmouth prevailed over the Yellow Jackets, who finished third in country last season, winning by only a two-point margin after a late game surge by their opponents. The next week, the Big Green could not continue their success, falling 12-63 to the United States Military Academy. Dartmouth came out strong with an early try and successful conversion, leaving Army ahead by only one try at halftime; however, the Black Knights turned the tables during the second half, scoring 51 points. The Big Green will commence Ivy League play this Saturday at Brown University, returning to Hanover on Sept. 24 to take on Columbia University.

Six freshmen and one transfer student from Norwich University with two years of eligibility remaining join the Big Green for the new season, Frankie Sands ’18. Sands was named to the Women’s National Team player pool. The team will be captained by Ashley Zepeda ’18 and Camille Johnson ’19. The team’s coaching staff has also expanded with the addition of Stacey Bridges, who is a current member of USA Rugby’s Women’s National Team.

Football

The Big Green looks to defend its share of the Ivy League title after splitting the championship three ways with Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania in 2015. The 2015 campaign saw Dartmouth achieve its first conference title in 19 years, its 18th title in program history. The team’s overall record last year of 9-1 is its best since 1996, in addition eight players earned All-Ivy First Team honors.

The Big Green will kick off the 2016 season with a game against the University of New Hampshire at home on Sept. 17. Ivy League play will commence Sept. 30 with a home game against Penn. In the 2016 Football Preseason Media Poll, the Big Green are predicted to finish third, with Harvard and Penn claiming the first and second spots respectively. Although it is important to note that over the past seven seasons, Dartmouth has finished higher in the final standings than was predicted by the media poll. While the Big Green likely lost the most players in the league with 17 starters on offense and defense graduating, the team still shows promise in returning players and in newcomers.

The team’s leader in yards rushed, Ryder Stone ’18 returns, as well as receivers Houston Brown ’17 and Jon Marc Carrier ’17 who achieved a combined 40 catchers, 568 yards and five touchdowns. All of Dartmouth’s kickers will also be returning, including two time All-Ivy Second Team punter Ben Kepley ’17. The team will be captained by seniors Folarin Orimolade ’17, Brandon Cooper ’17 and Dave Morrison ’17.

Cross-Country

The women’s and men’s cross country teams started their 2016 seasons this past Saturday with victories in the annual Dartmouth Invitational. Saturday’s race comes after a preseason trip to northern New Hampshire on the Second College Grant. The meet took place at the Hanover Country Club, featuring an 8-kilometer race for the men and a 6-kilometer race for the women. Dartmouth faced off against Keene State University, Middlebury College and the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Both sides made a grand statement, with the men and women both finishing in first place. On the men’s side, Quinn Cooney ’20 led the Big Green with a first place finish at 25 minutes and 16.01 seconds behind two unattached players. He was closely followed by Kyle Dotterer ’18, Henry Raymond ’20 and Ben Szuhaj ’19. The women’s side also saw top finishes, with Bridget Flynn ’18 taking home first place with a time of 22:11.41. She was closely followed by teammates Lauren Sapone ’20, Leigh Moffett ’18 and Lillian Anderson ’19. In total Dartmouth women claimed the top eight spots of the race, and 12 of the top-15 finishers. Both the men and women will next take part in the Boston College Coast to Coast Invitational in Boston this Friday.

Field Hockey

The field hockey team finished sixth in the Ivy League last year, with an overall record of 7-10. The team will return only six starters from the 2015 roster. Despite being a young team, the Big Green have welcomed six talented incoming freshmen into their ranks, including Emma Plumb ’20, who is a member of the U.S.’s Women’s National Indoor Field Hockey Team.

Dartmouth kicked off the 2016 campaign on the road facing No. 9 University at Albany, SUNY on Sept. 3. Despite stand-out performances by returning and incoming players, the Great Danes defeated the Big Green in 1-3. Dartmouth continued on the road playing the University of Maine on Sept. 5, suffering a second loss at 3-7. In the first home game of the season, the Big Green found success, defeating Bryant University 2-1 in a shootout after two overtime periods. In its second home game of the season on Sunday, the Big Green lost to University of the Pacific, 0-5.

The team will be captained by Morgan Philie ’18, and headed by coach Amy Fowler, who starts her 17th season as head coach. The team will return to action this Friday, taking on the University of Vermont at home at 3 p.m. Regular season play will commence at Princeton University on Sept. 24.