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I admittedly only have strong opinions about very few things. For example, I think that undercover traffic cops are bad for society and that the very premise undermines the idea that police should be viewed as a resource available to assist the public at any moment’s notice. I also feel strongly about college sports — I wouldn’t be writing this column if I didn’t. The fact that I feel so strongly about college sports and the way they are run brings me to the fact that the Pac-12 athletic conference is having a historically bad basketball season, and the issues spread beyond the court.
In this column over the summer, I explored how I became an “Accidental Fan” and the many different ways that all types of fans can engage with sports. Too often, the world of sports is overshadowed by the idea that to be a fan, one must know everything about a sport or multiple sports and watch them religiously. Well, as I discussed last summer, that has never been my experience with sports. And during my off term this past fall, I had the opportunity to add more sports and teams to my list of Accidental Interests.
Golden Finnish: How Finland asserted itself as the Clemson of international hockey
Kids dream big. They want to be actors on a Hollywood stage, they want to walk on the moon or they want to play pro sports. Many times these big dreams are out of reach, but for one player from the dominant Dartmouth men’s soccer team, that classic dream is a step away from becoming a reality.
This past weekend, Leverone field house played host to the 50th annual Dartmouth Relays, a track and field meet featuring high schoolers, college athletes and professional competitors. Dartmouth women’s track and field coach Sandy Ford-Centonze described the meet as a major event in the team’s season.
Looking back at Dartmouth football’s 9-1 fall campaign, there is little doubt that the team’s season was a great one. Among the team’s nine victories were a 49-7 shellacking of Brown University, a 41-18 defeat of Yale University and a 24-17 win over Harvard University, the first for the Big Green against the Crimson in 15 years. Despite the one loss (a 5-point fall to eventual Ivy League champions Princeton University), the team’s historic campaign was capped by being named No. 15 in the American Football Coaches Association FCS postseason poll and No. 18 in the STATS poll, the best end of the year finish for the Big Green since 1978. Dartmouth was powered to this success on both sides of the ball, allowing the fourth fewest yards and second fewest points, while the Big Green offense matched with 17th in points per game. These statistics demonstrate Dartmouth’s success as a team, but the individuals behind those numbers stand out on their own, and several were honored to that extent in the time since the season ended.
The Big Green is the winningest program in Ivy League women’s basketball history, but the last time Dartmouth won an Ivy League championship was 10 years ago, when they raised their 17th championship banner to the rafters of Leede Arena. Now, when you walk into the women’s basketball locker room, or into the coaches’ offices, or simply look at the team’s clothing, you’ll see one recurring mantra: “Mind on 18.”
The temperature in Hanover may have dipped below zero degrees on Saturday night, but inside Leede arena, the Dartmouth men’s basketball team was red hot. The Big Green, shooting 68.1 percent from the field, defeated Harvard University in a 81-63 thumping. Forward Chris Knight ’21 dropped in eight of 10 shots for a 20-point night, and guard Ian Sistare ’20 netted 13 points and brought in six rebounds.
On November 30, men’s hockey head coach Bob Gaudet ’81 became the all-time winningest coach in program history with a 3-2 victory over Cornell University. Gaudet, in his 22nd season coaching his alma mater, surpassed former coach Eddie Jeremiah with the 309th win of his career.
The Dartmouth ski team racked up a laundry list of accolades last season. Men’s alpine skier of the year? Yep, that was Tanguy Nef ’20, honored by the United States Collegiate Ski Coaches Association last April. Women’s Nordic skier of the year? Check — Katharine Ogden ’21 was a shoo-in after sweeping the Nordic races at the NCAA Skiing Championships. How about alpine and Nordic coach of the year? Yes and yes, won by Dartmouth’s Peter Dodge ’78 and Cami Thompson Graves, respectively. Only two of the USCSCA’s six yearly awards went to athletes or coaches outside of Dartmouth, a sign of how well-positioned the team is entering 2019.
After playing seven games in three states and two countries in one month, the men’s basketball team is currently 9-7 with a 0.562 win percentage. In November, the team traveled to Belfast, Northern Ireland, to compete in the second Belfast Classic. Dartmouth was one of eight schools competing and faced off against both Marist College and the State University of New York at Albany.
The women’s track and field team took third at the Ivy League Heptagonal Indoor Championships last season to match its best Heps performance since 2014. As the indoor season gets underway, Jake Philhower sat down with longtime head coach Sandy Ford-Centonze to discuss her expectations for 2019.
Pucks in Deep: John Tavares is a Leaf
The Redshirt Senior: Ivy League Basketball Preview
The Dartmouth men’s hockey team has proven multiple times throughout the first half of this season that it can compete with any team in the country. However, after some recent disappointments, it is looking to get back on track with more consistent play going into the second half of the season.
After breakout 2017-18 seasons, forward Isalys Quinones ’19 and point guard Cy Lippold ’19 have returned to the court in a similarly dominant fashion. This year’s women’s basketball team captains, they are two of the team’s leading scorers, averaging 13.5 and 8.9 points per game, respectively.
Swimming: Leko and LaMastra headline early meets
The men’s hockey team finished 1-1 at the 30th Ledyard Classic, defeating Army 5-2 but falling to Providence 5-3.
The men’s hockey team entered the 30th annual Ledyard Classic tournament looking to start the second half of the season on the right note after finishing the first half of the 2018-19 season with three straight losses. The team came up with a 1-1 record.