Ivy Championship Implications On The Line Friday at Harvard
Game 14 - Friday, April 27, 2012 - 7 p.m.
No. 10/11 Dartmouth Big Green (10-3, 5-1 Ivy) vs.
RV/NR Harvard Crimson (8-6, 4-2 Ivy)
Location: Cambridge, Mass. - Harvard Stadium
All-Time Series: Tied, 18-18-1
First Meeting: May 8, 1976 - W, 6-5 (Home)
Last Meeting: May 6, 2011 - L, 11-10 (at Penn - Ivy League Tourney)
Streak: Harvard, 1-0
Last Dartmouth Win: April 29, 2011 (14-7 (Home)
HANOVER, N.H. - It’s cliche to say it, but it really does ‘all come down to this’. The Dartmouth women’s lacrosse team has a chance to capture a share of its second straight Ivy League title with a win Friday night at Harvard.
With a victory, the Big Green will finish the season 6-1 in league play, sharing the crown with Penn for the second consecutive season.
However, since the team knocked off the Quakers on April 14 by a score of 9-7, Dartmouth owns the tiebreaker and, thus, would earn the right to host and the No. 1 seed in next weekend’s Ivy League tournament.
The Big Green are coming off their only loss in conference play this season at Princeton last Saturday, 12-9. The Tigers then lost to Columbia on Wednesday afternoon which allowed the Quakers to claim at least a share of the league’s championship and set up Dartmouth for this must-win scenario.
It’s win or go on the road for the Big Green. At 7-0 in games played at Scully-Fahey Field this season, fans should expect a strong performance from the visitors Friday night in Cambridge as they have several things to play for.
LAST TIME OUT
Dartmouth fell to Princeton, 12-9, last Saturday afternoon on the road at Sherrerd Field. Despite taking an early lead, the Big Green fell behind at half to the Tigers, 7-5. An early second-half push seemed to be the spark Dartmouth needed, but that was answered by a late surge from Princeton to put the game out of reach late. Kirsten Goldberg (Cockeysville, Md.) did everything she could to keep her team in it, scoring four times and assisting on another two in the defeat. Fellow senior Hilary Smith (Bronxville, N.Y.) added four caused turnovers, including three in the second half as Dartmouth was feverishly attempting to pull even.
The Crimson know they will be in the Ivy League tournament thanks to Princeton's loss to Penn on Wednesday afternoon. Harvard is now just battling for positioning in the seedings. A win on Friday would help them possibly move up to the No. 2 seed, but that scenario is contingent upon a loss by Cornell as well, the fourth team to be in this year's postseason tourney. Danielle Tetreault has scored four goals in each of her team's last two games and now leads Harvard in scoring with 31 points and goals with 27. Melanie Baskind ranks second on the team with 29 points, while her six assists lead all players. Freshman goalkeeper Kelly Weis has come on in her first season, leading the Ivy League in most statistical categories, including a 7.72 goals-against average.
Senior Sarah Plumb's (Wellesley, Mass.) stellar play all season has earned her a nomination for the Tewaaraton Award, presented annually to the top male and female collegiate lacrosse player in the country. Plumb has been on the Watch List all season, but just 25 players were on the nomination list the organization released Wednesday afternoon with Plumb being one of those select few.
BACK AND FORTH
With six points against Princeton, Goldberg has regained the team's point lead back from Plumb by the slimmest of margins. Goldberg now leads the team with 43 points on 33 goals and 10 assists. Plumb ranks second as she has 42 points on 31 goals and a Dartmouth-best 11 assists.
IVY LEAGUE RECORD
Coming into the road game with Princeton, Plumb already owned the Dartmouth single-season and all-time draw control records, but five more in the loss moved her into first in Ivy League history. She now has 141 in three-plus seasons, eclipsing the old mark of 140 set by Cornell's Jamiee Reynolds in 2002.
LINDSEY LIGHTS LAMP
Sophomore Lindsey Allard (Cohasset, Mass.) continued her strong sophomore season with two goals against the Tigers. After not scoring as a freshman, Allard now ranks third on the team with 26 points on 17 goals and nine assists in 2012.
In the most recent meeting between these two teams, the Crimson knocked off the Big Green in last season's Ivy League semifinals in Philadelphia, 11-10. Prior to that loss, Dartmouth had defeated Harvard in 15 straight games dating back to 1997. In those 15 consecutive victories, the Big Green outscored the Crimson, 208-98. Just once in those contests did Dartmouth fail to reach double digits in goals (9-7 in 2002) and allowed Harvard to score 10 or more just once (20-10 in 2007).
WHERE WE STAND THIS WEEK
Obviously with the loss at the hands of Princeton, Dartmouth was going to feel it in this week's national polls. The Big Green dropped three spots in both the coaches poll to No. 11 and to No. 10 in the media poll. The latest RPI has Dartmouth ranked 13th in the country, one spot above 14th-ranked Penn in the system used to determine selections for the NCAA Tournament.
At the beginning of the week, there was a possibility for a five-way tie for the regular season championship with one co-champion not qualifying for the postseason tournament after tiebreakers. Princeton's loss to Penn eliminated that possibility as it will not play in the tournament. Now, it all comes down to seedings. Dartmouth can take care of business with a win and earn the right to host the league's two-day tournament. Penn is waiting for the dust to settle after wrapping up its Ivy schedule at 6-1. The Quakers will either be either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed depending on the outcome of Friday's game in Cambridge. Harvard's final game is against the Big Green, while Cornell will take on Brown in Providence Saturday at noon.