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On Friday, Oct. 12, the Dartmouth Athletics Department announced the hiring of Jennifer Williams as the seventh head coach of the Dartmouth softball team. Williams steps into the position to replace Shannon Doepking, who took the head coach position at Syracuse University on Sept. 14th.
On Saturday night, the Los Angeles Dodgers slugged their way past the Milwaukee Brewers to clinch the National League Pennant and set the stage for a World Series match-up with the Red Sox, beginning on Tuesday night in Boston. For Major League Baseball, it seems hard to imagine a better match-up. You have the massive Los Angeles market going up against the Red Sox and their vast national fan base: two of the league’s most storied and wealthy franchises getting together in baseball’s biggest event.
I admittedly am a bit angry writing this column.
The Dartmouth volleyball team has had an up-and-down 2018 season so far. The team has experienced some high peaks, including a thrilling five-set victory over Harvard University, but has had some lows as well, such as a tough road trip at Cornell University and Columbia University. Ultimately, the Big Green stand at 7-10 overall and 3-4 in Ivy League play.
After being picked in most preseason polls to finish in the bottom half of the Ivy League standings, the Dartmouth football team has shot off to a dominant start with a 5-0 overall record and 2-0 Ivy League conference record, demonstrated most recently by a 41-18 bludgeoning of defending conference champions and preseason favorites Yale University in New Haven last Saturday and a 42-0 shutout of Sacred Heart University at home on Saturday. The performances by the Big Green so far have been textbook examples of offensive and defensive power. Under the leadership of head football coach Buddy Teevens ‘79, the team has averaged 38 points a game on offense—13th highest in the Football Championship Subdivision—while the 249 yards allowed per game on defense puts them fourth in the country among the teams at their level. Since the disappointing 2016 campaign, where the team went 4-6 on the year and 1-6 in conference, the Big Green has gone 13-2, and the reasons behind this start go beyond simple statistics.
The college football playoff picture is slowly starting to take shape and some familiar faces are in the driver’s seat. With the season half over, teams are slowly starting to show if they have what it takes to win a national championship, or if the preseason hype was unfounded.
At the tail end of a sunny fall afternoon in Eugene, the Oregon Ducks executed a seldom seen play, the old fashion double ice. As regulation waned, first-year Ducks’ coach Mario Cristobal called not one but two timeouts in an attempt to freeze University of Washington kicker Peyton Henry. Henry, in whom Washington coach Chris Peterson had just enough faith to try from 37 yards with seconds to go in a tie game, entered the game seven for 10 on the season with a long of just 31 yards. After Cristobal signaled for the first timeout and the referees whistled the play dead, Washington proceeded with the snap, hold and kick. Whether they legitimately could not hear the whistle due to the din of the Autzen Stadium crowd or just wanted a practice attempt (as any kicking unit getting “iced” ought to) is indeterminable. Henry missed his practice try at the field goal. As he lined up for his second chance, Cristobal called his final timeout. Again, Washington executed snap, hold and kick after the whistle. On his second practice attempt, Henry converted. One-for-two on dress rehearsals, Henry lined up for his third go-round, this time knowing with relative certainty that it would be the attempt of record. The kick wobbled wide right, and the game wore on into overtime.
Sophia Kocher ’21 set a Dartmouth equestrian record this past Saturday at Middlebury College, tallying up a perfect 42 points in her first six shows and becoming the first Dartmouth rider to go undefeated at every regular season competition. Her distinguished performance elevates her from the Advanced Walk Trot Canter class to the Novice Flat and Fences class while also qualifying her for Regionals. The equestrian team is off to a 2-0 start, in large part due to Kocher’s seven points earned in each week’s victory. The Dartmouth sat down for a one-on-one discussion with Kocher about her equestrian career, her path to Dartmouth and more.
The announcers almost jinxed it, but I think everyone can finally say what fans in Austin, Texas have been hoping to say for a long time:
He and his teammates line up, arms around one another’s shoulders. Fireworks erupt behind NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who begins to speak. The speech feels agonizingly long — in reality, it is a hair under a minute until he says, “Alex Ovechkin, it’s your honor.” Ovechkin disentangles himself from the row of Capitals; as he skates toward Bettman, he turns back to his teammates, pumping his arms and offering the first of many celebratory shouts. He and Bettman shake hands awkwardly; Bettman says something in Ovechkin’s ear, to which he does not respond. The moment his hands touch the Cup, Ovechkin begins to shake. He lets out another cry and finally, finally, lifts the Stanley Cup.
The Dartmouth men’s soccer team had a lineup of big games to play against the University of Vermont on Tuesday and Yale University on Saturday. These were two important games for the Big Green as they looked to boost their offensive production and bounce back from a few games in which they struggled due to a lack of offensive opportunities. The offense provided a few more chances this week; however, the team split two overtime games with a win and a tie.
Grace Scott ’22 comes to Dartmouth with more than 10 years of climbing and bouldering experience and a long history of success in both. Scott, a Rhode Island native, has been to the Bouldering Youth National Championships eight times and has rock climbed competitively throughout that time frame as well. Recently, she began trying winter climbing, including ice climbing and mountaineering and climbed Mount Rainier, the 17th-tallest mountain in the United States and the tallest mountain in Washington State. She spent her past summer in New Hampshire as a climbing guide.
This weekend, women’s soccer traveled to Princeton, New Jersey to take on Princeton University in an important matchup early in the Ivy League conference season. Coming off its first Ivy League win against Brown University this week, the Big Green was looking to improve its position in the league and pick up a big win against the rival Tigers. Though the Big Green was unable to find the back of the net, goalie Mariel Gordon ’21 had a huge game, making a career high nine saves and keeping the Tigers off the scoreboard for the full 110 minutes.
Decades ago, many colleges required students to pass a swim test in order to graduate. Today, only a few cling to this tradition, Dartmouth being one of them. Dartmouth’s swim requirement is an untimed 50-yard test that students can complete at the beginning of their First-Year Trip or during any of their terms at the College using any stroke they like.
You’re a highly-recruited high school quarterback who enrolls in a southern university with a top-tier football program. You spend the first two years of your college career backing up another quarterback who leads the team to two national championship games against the same team, losing the first and winning the second. The starting quarterback declares for the NFL draft and has a very productive rookie season until he is sidelined by an ACL tear. You take over the starting job and fare well, going 12-2 as a starter and leading your team to the semifinals of the College Football Playoff, again losing to the same team from before for the third time. Before the new season starts, the undisputed best high school quarterback signs with your school, but you remain the starter. The team goes undefeated through four games, and your coach gives both quarterbacks some playing time, with both playing well. Before the fifth game of the season, your coach names the freshman the starting quarterback. Would you accept the backup role? Or would you transfer out to another school where you could potentially finish your college career as a starter and improve your draft stock?
The opening weeks of the National Football League season have been dominated by one storyline. It isn’t blossoming young quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Jared Goff, it isn’t the Browns finally winning a game and it isn’t the slow start by the greatest franchise of the salary cap era. For the early weeks of the NFL season, we have been unable to talk about anything but the suddenly rampant “roughing the passer” flags.