Dartmouth Big Green (1-4, 0-1 Ivy) vs.
No. 2 Cornell (8-0, 2-0 Ivy)
▶ Saturday, March 29, 2014 ▶ 1 PM ▶ Hanover, N.H.
▶ Scully-Fahey Field (1,600)
▶ All-Time Series: 15-48-0 (64th All-Time Meeting)
▶ Last Meeting: March 30, 2013 / L, 21-5 (Ithaca)
▶ Streak: 0-3
The Dartmouth men’s lacrosse team will play host to No. 2 Cornell Saturday at 1 p.m. inside Scully-Fahey Field in a game that will mark the 2014 home opener.
LAST TIME OUT
The Big Green dropped their Ivy League debut last Saturday in Cambridge, 16-7, to Harvard. Dartmouth came out strong in the opening half, but the Crimson’s timely scoring and stifling defense led to their fifth win of the season and second in Ancient Eight play. Freshman Jack McCormick scored his first collegiate goal just seven seconds into the contest after a great individual effort by Phil Hession on the opening faceoff.
The Big Red are one of the best teams in the nation right now as demonstrated by their position in the latest polls. Cornell is No. 2 in both the Warrior Media Poll as well as the USILA’s weekly update. In both, the Red are garnering several first-place votes as they are 8-0 overall and 2-0 in Ivy play so far. Cornell leads all Ivy teams in goals (115), goals per game (14.38), shots (348) and shots per game (43.5), points (175) and points per game (21.88) as well as several other statistical categories. Dan Lintner (29) and Matt Donovan (21) are the conference’s top-two goal scorers, while Donovan’s 35 points are the best among Ivy players with his 14 assists ranking second.
ALL-TIME AGAINST THE BIG RED
Dartmouth is just 15-48 all-time against its league foe from Ithaca. Cornell has won the last three meetings with the Green’s most recent victory coming in Foxboro on April 3, 2010 (8-6). The last seven contests between the two have come with Cornell boasting a top-10 ranking at game time, including four times ranked inside the top-5 (No. 1 in 2007). The last home win against the Big Red was a 12-8 triumph on April 12, 1997.
Mike Olentine continues to lead the Big Green in scoring this season with his 10 points on seven goals and three assists. After a goal and an assist at Harvard, Olentine now has a season-best four-game multi-point streak. All 10 of his points have come in the last four outings with three two-point efforts and a four-point contest in the win against Sacred Heart.
After five straight games away from home to start the season, the Green and White will finally play a contest at Scully-Fahey Field when they take to the field Saturday. This will mark the latest home debut has taken place since the 2000 season when Dartmouth played host to Army on Mar. 25. The year before in 1999, the home opener wasn’t until April 14 when Sacred Heart was dealt an 11-6 defeat in Hanover.
AGAINST NO. 2
The last time Dartmouth played a team ranked No. 2 in the national polls was during the 2009 season when The Big Green traveled to play second-ranked Virginia on April 18 (L, 13-6).
STRONG START IN GOAL
Against the Crimson, sophomore goalkeeper Blair Friedensohn turned aside nine-of-his-10 saves in the first half of play. This season, Friedensohn ranks sixth in the Ivy League in both save percentage (.427) and goals-against average (13.31), while fourth in saves per game (8.20).
DOWN A MAN? NO PROBLEM!
Dartmouth is the lone Ivy team this season with multiple goals coming a man down. Jake Weil scored down a man with just one second remaining in the opening half at Harvard Stadium, while Jibran Ahmad notched the first of the year in the season opener at No. 3 North Carolina on Feb. 22.
THE TWO BEST
Saturday is a match-up of the two best teams in the league in terms of ground balls and caused turnovers. The Red lead all conference programs by picking up an average of 38.12 ground balls per game, while the Green are second with a figure of 33.0 per contest. Dartmouth leads the way by forcing opponents into 9.40 turnovers a game with Cornell’s 8.50 ranking second in that category this spring.
ON THE GROUND
Junior Phil Hession is one of the best in the league when it comes to both faceoffs and ground balls this season. His .504 winning percentage (61-60) on faceoffs is seventh among Ancient Eight student-athletes, while his 6.80 ground balls per game is third.
WATCH IT LIVE
Fans with subscriptions can watch Saturday’s game live in HD on the Ivy League Digital Network.
Dartmouth remains at home next weekend as well, playing host to Yale at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 5.