Women’s soccer has started off the 2023 season strong: With a current 4-0-2 record, the team has not lost a game this season and looks forward to taking on each challenge with a fresh state of mind.
The main message the team is focusing on this season is “27 strong,” meaning that every player on the 27-member team is an integral part of its success, according to women’s soccer head coach Taylor Schram.
“We’re really focused on building our DWS brand on the field, establishing our style of play and it’s different from years past,” Schram said. “We’re trying to add in some concepts and differentiation points of how we’re trying to play.”
These tactics include starting different players, different player combinations and becoming more effective at trying new things with confidence and an open mind.
Most recently, DWS tied Boston College and won against Central Connecticut State University on Wednesday, Sept. 4 and Sunday, Sept. 10, respectively.
Although the Big Green tied BC 1-1, Schram, Grace Faulkner ’24 and Aleena Seales ’25 both said they were proud of the team’s performance.
“It is really hard to scout a team that has 27 amazing players who all have great chemistry with one another and are capable of playing on the field,” Seales said, referring to her own team.
On the Newton Campus Lacrosse and Soccer Field, Dartmouth led the first half of the game against BC with a goal from Danielle Burke ’25 — her first of the season. From the midfield, Taylor Williams ’24 passed the ball to Hailey Rorick ’26, who progressed past BC defense. Carly Retterer ’24 then received the ball and passed to Burke, who made it past the Eagles’ goalkeeper to score.
In the second half, BC came back to meet the Big Green through a penalty kick to bring the game to a tie.
“They had a pretty tough penalty kick call on us late in the game, but if we can play games like that with the amount of heart we had in that game, we should do really well against the other Ivies,” Faulkner said.
Although Daisy Granholm ’24 made a last attempt at a goal, it was narrowly blocked by BC’s goalkeeper. DWS goalkeeper Emily Hardy ’24 made five saves with one being in the final eight minutes of the game.
Players Faulkner and Seales said that every single member of Dartmouth women’s soccer gave “100 percent” whether they were playing, warming up or supporting their teammates. Women’s soccer’s camaraderie, heart and talent stood out against BC’s playing style.
“I think one of the reasons why they were having such a hard time dealing with us yesterday was because we would make [substitutes], and [we] were fresh, so we were raising the level,” Seales said. “I don’t think they expected that.”
On Sunday, Dartmouth women’s soccer dominated once again with a 1-0 win against Central Connecticut State at Burnham field. Despite going all in for the game against BC on Thursday, the Big Green were once again ready to take on a new challenge and chanting it was a “new day.”
“We do a chant, and we say ‘new day!’ … to say it’s a new day to get better, a new day to move the needle an inch for our program and for individual performances as well,” Schram said.
Although all was quiet in the first half of the game against Central Connecticut, Frankie Valverde ’27 quickly changed the tide at the end of the second. With a kick from Ellie Davidson ’27, the ball flew across the field where it was accepted by a head from Granholm. Finally, Valverde quickly took control of the ball to smash it into the back left side of the goal.
“We’ll be taking it one game at a time, putting together our best performance collectively for 90 minutes and hoping that the rest will come for us,” Schram said.
Looking forward, Dartmouth women’s soccer has its eyes set on making it to the Ivy League Conference Tournament. According to Schram, the top four Ivies will play in the tournament to battle it out for the Ivy League Title. However, to get there, Dartmouth women’s soccer remains focused on setting a solid foundation for the program.
Faulkner commented that a large component of the team’s “27 strong” mantra is trusting and believing in their teammates and coaches.
“When we step on the field, we’re all in it for each other, and we know that the tackle that we make is for the player next to us, and we know the positioning that we’re in,” Faulkner said.
The Big Green looks ahead to their next game against Iona University on Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 4:00 p.m. at Burnham field.
“Like I said, our ultimate goal for this season is continuing to set the foundation for years to come: for how we want to play, evolving our style of play and showing the world what DWS means,” Schram said. “That’s what we’re focused on each day, just getting better and moving the needle a little bit further.”