Men’s soccer concludes season in fourth place in Ivy League

by Kaitlyn Lees | 11/18/19 2:10am

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The men’s soccer team lost its final game of the season on the road against Brown on Saturday.

by Kyle Spencer / The Dartmouth

Dartmouth men’s soccer (6-8-2, 3-3-1) ended its season on Saturday with a 2-1 loss on the road at Brown University (4-9-4, 2-2-3). 

A couple of weeks ago, the team was chasing down the Ivy League championship. The Big Green entered the game in lone possession of second place as a Dartmouth loss to Cornell University and a Yale University win over Brown last weekend clinched the title for the Bulldogs and knocked the Big Green out of championship contention. After Saturday’s loss, however, the Big Green finish the season in fourth place in the Ivy League standings.

Last season, Dartmouth dominated Brown at home with a 4-0 win. This was Dartmouth’s first road loss to Brown since 2009. 

Despite not having the Ivy League title to play for, goalkeeper Alex Budnik ’22 said that the team was still motivated to provide a strong end to the season for the school, the seniors and the whole team. For seniors Henry Baldwin ’20, Will Chisholm ’20, Zach Kalk ’20, Braden Salvati ’20, Jesse Scanlon ’20 and Henry Stusnick ’20, Saturday was their last time competing for the Big Green.

Head coach Bo Oshoniyi said that against Brown, the team played slightly different from usual on restarts and corner kicks — a change which he thought the Big Green was able to execute well during the game. 

Oshoniyi said he thought Dartmouth played some of its best soccer in the first half, and indeed the Big Green started out the game strong, with five shots in the first 30 minutes compared to the Bears’ three. In the 33rd minute, the Big Green was able to take the early lead. Kalk was able to score on a penalty after Clayton Molter ’23 was tackled in the box.

Playing in his last game for Dartmouth, Kalk had his fourth goal of the season, rounding out his third consecutive game in which he has put points on the board for the Big Green. However, there was an important momentum shift right before halftime. Brown took advantage of a throw in and scored with only 22 seconds left in the first half, and the Bears capitalized on this momentum in the second half.  

“I think really we were the dominant team,” Budnik said. “We were on the upper foot for both the first half and the second half. It was a little bit unfortunate that we couldn’t go into half time up 1-0.” 

In the second half, Brown fired seven shots to the Big Green’s three. The game remained tied between the two teams until Brown was able to score the deciding goal with 12 minutes left. Molter and Henry Baldwin ’20 both had two shots during the game while Dawson McCartney ’21 and Kalk each had three. Ohad Yahalom ’22 also had a solid effort. 

Dartmouth ends the season with a 6-8-2 overall record and a 3-3-1 conference record. The Big Green’s season featured wins against Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University; a tie with Columbia University; and losses to Yale, Cornell and Brown. Budnik expressed disappointment with how the season ended. 

“There were points where it looked like we were a really good team and the season was headed in the right direction.” Budnik said. “But as it is with most teams, you have your road bumps, and I think our road bumps game at difficult times in the season.” 

Similarly, Oshoniyi characterized the season as up-and-down, with the team struggling to find consistency. He said he believes the team has a strong group of returning players. Mothibi Penn-Kekana ’22 forms a part of the strong returning core. Penn-Kekana was just named one of the New England Soccer Journal’s 10 breakout players in New England Division I soccer.

“We’re going to really grow from this season and gain a little more consistency in our results and how we play,” Oshoniyi said.