Soccer teams turn in mixed results in season openers
By Kelly Hanen And Casey Dennis, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Tuesday, September 4, 2012
The Dartmouth men’s and women’s soccer teams kicked off their 2012 seasons over the weekend, with the women’s team starting out in Florida with a loss against No. 9 University of Central Florida and a win against the University of South Florida at the Central Florida Tournament in Orlando. The men’s team earned a split against the University of Connecticut and Holy Cross University.
The 2-0 loss against Central Florida was a back and forth affair. The Big Green outshot the Knights 14 to 13, but the Dartmouth offense could not get on the board as Central Florida goalies Lianne Maldonado and Connie Organ combined to stop all seven Dartmouth shots on goal.
After the Knights jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a goal by Nicolette Radovcic in the ninth minute of the game, the Big Green offense went to work. Rookie Lucielle Kozlov ’16 recorded two shots on goal within the next five minutes, both of which were quality scoring opportunities. Chrissy Lozier ’14 and Allison Yeager ’14 also had good chances with seven combined shots and three shots on target, but none found the back of the net.
“It was the first game for us, and we were still working out our kinks,” co-captain Aurelia Solomon ’13 said.
As the frustration grew for the Big Green offense, the Knights added an insurance tally off of a set piece from 15 yards out in the 70th minute to seal the victory.
“Starting off the season with tough opponents was intentional,” midfielder Kendall Kraus ’15 said. “Last preseason we played some tough teams, and it really challenged us. I think it’s good for us to play tough competition. It is great practice and it helps us to prepare for everything will face this season.”
Despite being on the losing end of the final score, the Big Green led in many offensive categories, including total shots and corner kicks.
“For our first game, we played really well,” Kraus said. “Although we weren’t able to capitalize on all of our scoring opportunities, the fact that we were able to create so many opportunities, especially against such tough competition, was really good for us to see.”
On Sunday, the Big Green continued its campaign in Florida with a 2-1 victory over South Florida. After playing to a 1-1 tie in the first half, Kraus broke the stalemate with her first collegiate goal off of an assist from rookie Catherine Granville ’16.
“Getting our first win was a huge confidence builder,” co-captain Kim Rose ’13 said. “It’s always tough going on the road, and one disadvantage that we always have is that these teams have already been playing for a month or so and we’re just starting out.”
In the first half, Dartmouth came out strong offensively, registering the first three shots of the game. In the ninth minute, Rose put the Big Green on the board for the first time this season. Forward Libby Hamlin ’13 assisted Rose, who came back from an injury that prevented her from playing for most of her junior season.
Just 10 minutes later, South Florida tied the game after capitalizing on a Dartmouth foul in the Bulls’ offensive zone. For the rest of the game, the two teams battled back and forth to take control of the game. Lozier and Solomon led the attack, contributing two and three shots, respectively.
The Bulls outshot Dartmouth, 17-12, in the contest while the Big Green held the advantage in corner kicks, 7-2.
“As a team, we were playing together and had a lot of positive energy,” Solomon said. “We are very happy with the weekend.”
While Dartmouth showed its offensive strength at the University of Central Florida tournament, the Big Green’s defense did not go unrecognized. Solomon and Jackie Friedman ’16, both defenders, were named to the all-tournament team for their performances. Big Green goalie Tatiana Saunders ’15 also performed well with 11 saves in the first two games of the season.
“Our defense has been playing incredibly,” Rose said. “Sometimes it’s hard in soccer because when you see the score, it is easy to blame things on the defense, but that really wasn’t the case here. We have a really solid backline and they proved it playing against some of the best forwards in the nation.”
The Big Green will be back in action on Friday in Orono, Maine to face the University of Maine. Dartmouth will host its home opener against Rutgers University on Sunday.
After a busy preseason of training and practice, the Dartmouth men’s soccer team played in its first home and away games of the season over the weekend. The Big Green dropped its season opener, 2-1, to the No. 4 Huskies in overtime before defeating the Crusaders, 3-1, at home.
After trailing 1-0 for the majority of the second half in its matchup against UConn, Dartmouth used a well-timed goal with five seconds left in regulation to send the contest into overtime. Colin Heffron ’15 dribbled up the left side and connected with a red-hot Brad Jacobson ’13, who headed the ball inside the left post and past Huskies sophomore goalkeeper Andre Blake.
“We had a lot of chances [to score] before that, so I felt we deserved a goal, but when we scored with five seconds left, we all just went nuts,” midfielder Stefan Defregger ’15 said.
Dartmouth’s late-game magic proved to be short lived, as UConn’s leading scorer Mamadou Diouf scored on a one-time shot five minutes into overtime to give the Huskies the victory.
Dartmouth goalie Noah Cohen ’14 kept the Big Green in the game as he prevented several UConn offensive opportunities. The Huskies got their first break when sophomore forward Allando Matheson’s header found the back of the net in the 55th minute off of a free kick.
UConn held the total shots advantage, 16-9, while also leading the corner kick count, 6-3. The Huskies, one of the six teams that Dartmouth will face this season that participated in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, reached the national quarterfinals last year.
On Sunday, the Big Green bounced back in its home opener at Burnham Field, where the team defeated Holy Cross, 3-1. Andoni Georgiou ’14 led a powerful Dartmouth offense with two second-half goals. The Big Green took 22 shots as a whole and received a strong performance on the defensive end by Cohen, who blocked three shots and shut out the Crusaders in the second half.
Down 1-0 after a goal in the 27th minute by Crusaders junior midfielder Monty Sanders, Dartmouth tied the game in the 42nd minute when Georgiou found the back of the net for his first goal as a long ball from the midfield led him past Holy Cross defenders.
Georgiou’s second goal came in the second half when Brian Joseff ’14 fed him a lead pass from the outside right of the Holy Cross box.
“Andoni scored two very important goals, and it was a great win for us.” co-captain Teo Larsson-Sax ’13 said.
The Big Green continued its offensive success late into the game and scored again when Robin Alnas ’15 capitalized on a pass from Alex Adelabu ’15, sealing the victory and adding to Dartmouth’s undefeated all time record of 3-0-1 against the Crusaders.
“Coming off such a high-intensity game like UConn, it was pretty tough to stay motivated, but we knew that this was a game we needed to win, so we pushed through it.” Defregger said.
The regular season win against Holy Cross marked the 98th of head coach Jeff Cook’s career, making him two wins short of the 100-win milestone. Cook would be the second Dartmouth coach to reach the feat, along with Thomas Dent, who won 143 matches over a 35-year period.
“One hundred wins is a pretty amazing feat, and it just shows how good of a coach he is,” Defregger said. “I hope we can get his 100th this weekend.”
Going into the 2012 season, the Big Green had a strong preseason in which a majority of the team met its fitness goals, and new faces were blended into the offensive and defensive game plans. Dartmouth welcomed defender Emory Orr ’16, goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland ’16, midfielders Sten Stray-Gundersen ’16 and Samuel Rosen ’16 and forwards Elijah Soko ’16 and Alberto Gorini ’16. The newcomers will play vital roles, especially offensively in replacing Dartmouth’s all-time leader scorer Lucky Mkosana ’12.
In its lone exhibition game, Dartmouth defeated Universite de Sherbrooke, 5-0, on Aug. 24 at home. Jacobson stole the show, as the midfielder scored a hat trick in the Big Green win.
“We had a good performance in the scrimmage against Sherbrooke, and it gave us a lot of confidence going into the season,” Larsson-Sax said. “Brad played very well, and scoring a hat trick is always something extraordinary.”
The Big Green hopes to capture victory number 99 for Cook in its next game against No. 20 Southern Methodist University on Sept. 7 at Burnham Field.