Women’s soccer wins big vs. NJIT
By Josh Koenig
Published on Friday, September 21, 2012
Powered by two goals from co-captain Emma Brush ’13, the Dartmouth women’s soccer team cruised to a 5-0 victory over the New Jersey Institute of Technology on Thursday at Burnham Field. The Big Green (5-2) was hardly challenged, recording its third consecutive win as it prepares to start Ivy League play against Brown University on Sunday.
After the team notched its third straight shutout, co-captain and center back Aurelia Solomon ’13 said she was extremely pleased with how the Big Green defense has performed recently.
“We’re a young group, but we play together and stay organized,” she said.
In a game that was never in doubt, the Highlanders (2-7-2) took nearly 30 minutes to record their first shot on goal, as they had no answer for the high-pressure team defending employed by the Big Green.
After switching to a 4-4-2 formation this season, Dartmouth coach Theresa Romagnolo said she was pleased with how the team has continued to see offensive success attacking down the wings.
“We have a lot of wide personnel this year that like to attack one versus one and serve the ball into the box,” Romagnolo said.
With the Ivy League opener fast approaching, Romagnolo said she doesn’t expect to make any changes.
“Why tweak what’s working?” Romagnolo said.
Brush continued an excellent recent run of play by opening the scoring with a header in the 17th minute off a pinpoint corner from Libby Hamlin ’13. Brush was named Ivy League Player of the Week last week, the first time since 2008 that a Dartmouth women’s soccer player has been so honored.
“I think [our recent goal-scoring success] is pretty much a reflection of how we’re being coached,” Brush said. “Whenever you get four header goals, you see that the team is really communicating well.”
Still a fairly new program, the Highlanders only gained official NCAA Division I status in 2009. Carrying a young roster, their inexperience was highlighted time and time again by the Big Green forwards. While NJIT keeper Samantha Bersett made several nice saves, notably denying Brush and Jackie Friedman ’16 in a two-minute span midway through the second half, the Highlander defensive line struggled to stay compact, often being dragged apart by penetrating flank runs.
After Brush netted on a powerful header in the 66th minute, converting a cross from Corey Delaney ’16, the Highlanders called a huddle before kicking the ball off, clearly hoping to regroup.
Continuing to show offensive balance, the Big Green received goals from four players, including Lucielle Kozlov ’16, who scored the first goal of her Dartmouth career in the 85th minute off of a cross from Grace Best ’13. Also contributing goals were Allison Yeager ’14, who saw a well-placed header saved off the line in the 71st minute only to score off another header two minutes later, and Chrissy Lozier ’14, who grabbed her fourth goal of the season unassisted in the 23rd minute.
Nine Big Green players have scored this season, taking the pressure off of any one player to carry the team. Over the last three games, the Big Green has outscored opponents by a margin of 11-0.
As the game progressed, the Highlanders played in an increasingly more physical style, and NJIT defender Danielle Pierce received a well-deserved yellow card in the 66th minute after a hard foul in the midfield.
“Definitely when a team is down after the first half, they tend to come out a little more physically,” Solomon said.
With the impressive 5-0 scoreline, the Big Green reached its highest single-game total since 2010, when it thumped the University of Vermont, 7-0. Even with five goals, however, the Big Green threatened to score several more. Brush was brought down in the penalty area in the 54th minute, drawing an angry reaction from the crowd when the referee waved play on. The referee again drew the ire of the crowd with another no-call when Tasha Wilkins ’15 went down in the penalty area in the final 10 minutes.
The Big Green seems to be firing on all cylinders as its focus shifts to the Sunday matchup against Brown (6-1). Dartmouth finished tied for sixth in the Ivy League last season, but the team is setting its sights quite a bit higher in 2012.
“We’re playing to win it,” Romagnolo said. “We’ve got a great squad, so we’ll just take it one game at a time.”