It was more than just individuals that garnered the attention of both the local and national lacrosse communities in 2012 as the entire team continued its ascension back to the top of the Ivy League.
Highlighted by the program's first-ever Ivy League Tournament Championship, Dartmouth headed back to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year.
Leading the way for the Big Green was senior co-captain Sarah Plumb (Wellesley, Mass.), a player that seemed determined to leave her mark on the program before venturing out into the real world.
The recipient of several year-end accolades, including being named the League's Player of the Year as well as a unanimous first-team honoree, Plumb was perhaps the most well-rounded and all-around talented player in a league that featured some of the top players in the nation.
That incredible skill set was recognized with a First-Team All-America selection, the first for Dartmouth since 2006, and cementing her place among the program's all-time greats. Along with her national honor, Plumb was also named to the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) All-Northeast Region First Team.
It wasn't just Plumb that stole the show this season as head coach Amy Patton fielded an exceptionally talented group of players. Seniors Georgia Bird (Summit, N.J.), Kirsten Goldberg (Cockeysville, Md.) and Hilary Smith (Bronxville, N.Y.) were joined by sophomore goalkeeper Kristen Giovanniello (Old Brookville, N.Y.) as members of the IWLCA Northeast Region Second Team for their play over the course of the year.
Those four players were also honored following the conclusion of the regular season with spots on the All-Ivy Second Team.
Despite falling just short of claiming at least a share of its second-straight Ivy League title in the final weekend, Dartmouth headed to Penn for the postseason tourney as the No. 2 seed.
Taking down an offensively-talented Cornell team that led the league in goals this season in a semifinal match-up was a feat unto itself, but the Big Green defense held the Big Red to just eight goals, seven fewer than their season average.
After defeating Cornell, 9-8, to advance to its second league championship game, Dartmouth was faced with taking on the top-seeded Quakers on their home field.
With the confidence gained from knocking off then-No. 7 Penn during the regular season in Hanover, Dartmouth challenged the style of play used by the home team to earn the victory.
Falling behind 3-0 in the first half, the Big Green defense clamped down, while the offense at the other end of the field woke up, rattling off six-straight goals for the win and the automatic berth into the national postseason.
Prior to the season, Penn had defeated Dartmouth in six consecutive meetings, but the 2012 campaign saw the Green and White win both contests played between the two rival teams.
Both victories over the Quakers came with Penn ranked in the top-10 nationally. The Big Green's other win over a team ranked that high came on St. Patrick's Day as they took down then-third-ranked Duke, 9-8, in the second overtime period on a Plumb goal.
The NCAA Tournament pitted Dartmouth against Syracuse in the Carrier Dome, a team and a place that was familiar to the Green and White as they had already played once this season on the same field against the Orange.
Although the home team came away with a 15-5 victory, it was not until the final minutes that the game was no longer within the reach of the visitors.
The record books will look back on 2012 and show a record of 12-5 overall, 5-2 in league play and a 7-0 mark at home on Scully-Fahey Field. It will show the awards, honors and recognitions of the individual players. But what those records won't show is that 2012 marked the period were the Dartmouth women's lacrosse team firmly entrenched themselves back in their rightful position at the top of the Ivy League. (Pat Salvas)