Women’s soccer nails down win against Penn
By Taylor Malmsheimer, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Monday, October 15, 2012
The Dartmouth women’s soccer team sent a message that it is a serious contender for the Ivy League title with a 2-1 win over the formerly league-leading University of Pennsylvania on Saturday night at Burnham Field. The win moves Dartmouth (9-4, 3-1 Ivy) into a tie for second in the Ancient Eight, behind only Princeton University (4-0). Chrissy Lozier ’14 and Aurelia Solomon ’13 scored goals for the Big Green, while goalkeeper Tatiana Saunders ’15 recorded seven saves in the win.
The Big Green began the game with characteristic intensity, setting an attacking pace and keeping the ball primarily in Penn’s (7-5-1, 3-1 Ivy) end of the field. The intensity paid off early when Dartmouth was awarded a corner kick in the 13th minute of play.
Kelly Brait ’14 lofted the ball into the Quakers’ penalty area, where Lozier was waiting to touch the ball into the net for her seventh goal of the season. The goal moved Lozier into a tie with teammate Emma Brush ’13 for second in the Ivy League in goals.
With a 1-0 lead, Dartmouth continued its aggressive play while Penn began to settle down and fall into a rhythm. The Quakers started stringing passes together and found the back of the net in the 30th minute. After Saunders came off the goal line to make a play, Quakers junior Kerry Scalora sent the ball into the far corner of the goal.
Tied at one goal apiece, neither team dominated for very long, and momentum swung back and forth. In the final 10 minutes of the first half, the Big Green picked up its offensive pressure with shots from Corey Delaney ’16, Allison Yeager ’14 and Lucielle Kozlov ’16, all of which barely missed the goal.
“We were so happy with how we were playing [in the first half],” Brush said. “We said, ‘Are we going to be the team that’s going to do it this year? Are we going to pull through?’ And we did.”
Dartmouth coach Theresa Romagnolo said that despite the victory, she wanted to see more shots in the second half.
“I thought we were having a lot of success when we went wide,” Romagnolo said. “Continuing to go one-on-one, I thought we were having a lot of success getting isolated in the channels.”
Dartmouth came out aggressively in the second half, keeping the ball in Penn’s half of the field and putting pressure on the Quaker defenders. After several minutes, Penn settled down and began to return the pressure, leading to a close call in the 50th minute when Saunders made a diving save.
In the 53rd minute, the Big Green won another corner kick. Once again, Brait sent a cross into the area, where Solomon was there to meet it. Though Solomon’s shot was saved by Penn keeper Sarah Banks, it was ruled to have crossed the goal line, granting the Big Green a 2-1 lead.
“We work on corners basically every practice, offensively and defensively, so that was really exciting to score on both,” Solomon said.
Penn has made a habit of winning games in the second half however, and the Quakers refused to quit on the road in Hanover. In the 57th minute, the Quakers created a great scoring opportunity, once again pulling Saunders out of the goal. The Big Green finally cleared the ball after three Penn shots were blocked by Dartmouth defenders.
Dartmouth also refused to relent and continued to create scoring opportunities with long runs from the forwards and outside midfielders ending with crosses into the goal area. In the 67th minute, the Big Green had an especially good opportunity when Banks was pulled out of goal, but Penn defenders blocked all three Dartmouth shots.
The match’s physicality also picked up in the second half, with every 50-50 ball turning into a battle. The Quakers won two corner kicks in the 79th minute, but Dartmouth defenders cleared the ball both times. The Big Green was forced to play tight defense until the final whistle, but the team maintained composure and held on to preserve a tremendously important 2-1 victory.
As in previous games, Dartmouth used its deep bench to its advantage, making 10 substitutions.
“Anytime someone’s a little bit tired or we need to shift personnel, you have someone to step up,” Brush said. “We have more than 11 players that can contribute.”
Saturday’s win was the Big Green’s first victory over Penn in three years and put Dartmouth in position to contend for the Ivy League title. But if Dartmouth is to win its first conference championship since 2003, it will need some help, as league-leading Princeton controls its destiny by virtue of its 2-1 win over the Big Green on Sept. 29.
The Big Green next plays Boston University on Wednesday in Hanover before traveling to Columbia University on Saturday.
“Columbia will be a tough game, and we know what they’re going to do,” Solomon said. “That being said, we’re really excited — we have four games left, and we want to win the league.”