Men’s soccer falls to Penn 2-1 in double overtime

The Big Green looks to turn around its struggling season in a two-game home series this week.

by Stephanie Sowa and Caroline York | 10/18/21 2:00am

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by Emil Liden / The Dartmouth

On Saturday, the men’s soccer team lost 2-1 in double overtime to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Following this weekend’s outcome, the Big Green are 0-3 in Ivy League play with a 1-9 record overall. 

Dartmouth and Penn engaged in a tight battle, with staunch defensive performances buoying both teams. Alex Budnik ’22, Dartmouth’s goalkeeper, made five pivotal saves for the Big Green over the course of the game, made even more difficult by Saturday’s rainy weather. He held the Quakers scoreless in the first half, but Penn’s keeper returned the favor. Though the half ended with a blank scoreboard, Dartmouth led the Quakers 4-3 in shots and 2-1 in corner kicks. 

In the 82nd minute, Jordan Bailon ’22 scored the first goal of the game off of an assist from Trevor Gee ’24, giving Dartmouth the first lead of the game. However, the Big Green defense was unable to hold the Quakers until the end of regulation. Shortly after Bailon tallied a Dartmouth goal, Penn fired back with one of their own in the 86th minute to tie the game and push it into overtime.

“I thought we played really well today until my goal; we stuck to the coach's game plan,” Bailon said. “Unfortunately we weren’t able to defend in the last eight minutes which led to overtime.” 

In the first overtime, Dartmouth outshot the Quakers 3-1, but neither team was able to find the back of the net. With the scores still knotted at one through the first half of the second overtime period, Penn broke through and netted the winner in the 104th minute of the game.

“The guys gave it everything they had, we just came up short,” Bailon said. “We have to keep pushing and training to get wins for the fans, school, coaches and alumni of the program.” 

This weekend’s loss puts the Big Green at 0-3 in overtime matches this season. Two out of three of the Big Green’s Ivy League games thus far have ended in double-overtime losses — Saturday against Penn, and Oct. 2 in a home game against Princeton University. 

“After losses where the ball didn’t bounce our way or we lost in overtime, we are hoping to finish the season strong,” said Ohad Yahalom ’22. “Getting two games back-to-back at home will be huge for us.”  

The Big Green’s poor record this season is indicative of a difficult path, not necessarily of a bad team: Dartmouth started the season by travelling to the west coast, playing No. 2 University of Washington and Seattle University. The team then travelled down the east coast, taking on the University of Massachusetts, the University of Connecticut, No. 1 Georgetown University and the University of Hartford. The team’s first and only win came earlier this month against the University of Albany.

Dylan Buchanan ’25 explained that the coaches wanted to prepare the Big Green for a tough season by playing these highly ranked teams across the country. 

“Although we didn’t get the results we wanted, we haven’t let that stop us,” Buchanan said. “The energy in preseason was great because we were so excited to be back after a lost season. We are a family, so being back with that community, [even] with [its] wins and losses is really exciting.”

Because some of the Big Green’s losses were at the hands of the best teams in the country, there may be hope yet for the end of the season. The Big Green will have two chances to tally wins on Burnham field this week, with matches against the University of Vermont (8-3-1) on Tuesday and Columbia University (1-7-3) on Saturday. Tuesday’s game against Vermont will be Dartmouth’s last non-conference matchup of the season, and Dartmouth could still achieve a winning record in Ivy League play if the team rallies for an undefeated back half.

“It’s a great privilege to be back with our teammates, half of whom are new,” said Budnik. “We have to keep our heads up for future games."

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