Soccer teams prepare for big non-conference weekend
By Taylor Malmsheimer, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Thursday, September 13, 2012
The Dartmouth men’s and women’s soccer teams will open up a busy weekend of play on Friday with a total of four games spread across three days. On the women’s side, the Big Green (2-2) faces the University of New Hampshire at Burnham Field on Friday before travelling to Fordham University on Sunday. The Big Green men (2-2) will head to New Mexico to play in the TLC Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Lobo Invitational. Dartmouth faces No. 7 University of New Mexico on Friday before taking on Missouri State University on Sunday.
The Dartmouth women split their games last weekend, defeating the University of Maine, 3-1, before losing a heartbreaker to No. 21 Rutgers University, 2-1. On Monday, Emma Brush ’13 was named Ivy League Player of the Week after scoring three of Dartmouth’s four goals last weekend. Brush, Dartmouth’s MVP last season, has a team-high six points and is second on the team in shots.
“I’ve just been continuing to do the things that my coaches have been telling me like attacking down the end line and getting crosses in,” Brush, a first-year striker, said.
Brush also emphasized the importance of confidence and experience in her recent success.
“I’ve realized that so much comes from confidence and thinking you can score a goal or get an assist or make an impact on the field,” she said. “I’m just going to try to use my experience as a senior and the help of my wonderful teammates around me.”
Dartmouth coach Theresa Romagnolo said she was not surprised that Brush has seen such early season success offensively.
“She’s one of our most skillful players,” Romagnolo said. “She has a fantastic shot and great instincts around the goal. I’m excited to see her continue to improve and the things she will do this year.”
Dartmouth’s first opponent, New Hampshire (1-4-1), is coming off a one-goal loss to Providence College on Sunday afternoon. Prior to that, the Wildcats tied the University of Rhode Island, 2-2, on Friday. Both games went into extra time.
The last time the Big Green faced New Hampshire was in 2010, when the Wildcats defeated Dartmouth, 1-0. This time, the Big Green hopes to stay both intense and composed.
Brush said that the game will be a physical battle, especially as an in-state rivalry game, sometimes called the “Granite State Cup.”
“We just want to get it done,” Brush said. “We’re confident because of what we’ve done this season and we just need to put the ball in the goal and keep them from scoring. We want to have both intensity and composure.”
New Hampshire’s offense is led by freshman Kirstyn Corder, who was named America East Rookie of the Week on Monday. Corder has tallied two goals and two assists for the Wildcats to give her a team-high six points. She scored the game-winning goal in her first collegiate game against Fairfield University and scored the game-tying goal on Friday that sent the match into extra time.
On Sunday, Dartmouth travels to Fordham (2-4-0) for its first away game in almost two weeks. Last Friday, Fordham lost to St. John’s University, 2-0, before defeating the University of Maryland, 1-0, on Sunday. Fordham will play Columbia University on Friday before facing the Big Green on Sunday.
Sophomore Kristina Maksuti leads Fordham offensively with two goals for a total of four points. Junior Kaitlyn Carballeira is second on the team with one goal and one assist for a total of three points.
In preparation for both games, Romagnolo stressed that the Big Green is focusing on their own play, rather than that of their opponents.
The Big Green men head to New Mexico this weekend to play in the TLC Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Lobo Invitational. Last weekend, Dartmouth suffered a tough loss to Southern Methodist University, 2-1, before defeating Colgate University, 1-0, on Sunday.
On Friday, Dartmouth faces New Mexico (5-1), who is coming off a two-game win streak after defeating SMU, 3-1, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2-0. New Mexico has not played since last Friday.
Senior Devon Sandoval leads the Lobos offensively with three goals and one assist this season. Senior Blake Smith is also a threat, with two goals and two assists on the season.
The two teams last met in Hanover in 2010, with Dartmouth earning a 1-0 win with a late goal by Bryan Giudicelli ’11 on his birthday.
A victory against the Lobos this year could prove crucial, as it would help the Big Green’s chances of receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should the team fail to qualify automatically.
On Sunday, the Big Green faces Missouri State (4-0-2). The Bears are coming off a successful weekend after defeating Eastern Illinois University, 2-0, and tying the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, 0-0, in extra time.
Offensively, junior Cole Alexander leads Missouri with three goals. The Big Green will also have to deal with junior Jared Gain, who has one goal and two assists on the season. The Bears have a strong defense in front of sophomore goalkeeper Andrew Riggs, who was honored as the Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Monday. Riggs has given up one goal this season and has recorded 21 saves.
After this weekend, both Dartmouth teams will have one more non-conference game before opening Ivy play. The women face Brown University on Sept. 23, while the men take on Princeton University on Sept. 29.