HANOVER, N.H. – In front of a nearly sold-out crowd at Burnham Field, the Dartmouth men’s soccer team delighted its alumni and friends celebrating 100 years of Big Green Soccer with a 2-1 victory over Albany on Saturday afternoon.
Dartmouth (4-0-3) remains unbeaten through its first seven games this season. It is the program’s best start since the 1987 season when the Green started 6-0-1. Albany continues to struggle and is now 1-6-2 on the year.
In the first ever meeting between both squads, Dartmouth owned possession for the entire opening half. The Big Green finished with an 8-3 edge in shots and held the Great Danes to just one shot on goal. The home team opened up the scoring sheet in the 28th minute on an unassisted goal by senior Gabe Hoffman-Johnson. The fourth-year forward used his size to camp out in the Albany crease sending a wide-open shot from seven yards away beyond the reach of Albany keeper Tim Allen.
The Green and White pressured the Great Dane defenders with numerous chances late in the period. In the 33rd minute, junior Stefan Defregger had a point-blank shot saved by Allen. Moments later, Defregger sent a corner kick to classmate Gabe Stauber, but yet again, another save. Cleveland’s lone stop came in the final minutes of the half off a grounder by Pomare Te Anau.
Holding a 1-0 lead, the Big Green kept the attack inside the Albany penalty area and utilized a give-and-go from junior Alex Adelabu over to classmate Gabe Stauber for his second of the season in the 64th minute.
Not conceding by any measure, the Great Danes found the back of the net three minutes later after a shot by Brandon Wilson that was deflected into the goal by a defender. The visitors finished the game with the last three shots, two into the hands of Cleveland and the final just wide.
The Great Danes led in the shots department in the second half, 5-3, but Dartmouth finished the contest with an 11-8 advantage. Allen finished the game with seven saves and Cleveland stopped three for his second win of the season.Dartmouth will remain at Burnham Field and host regional foe Vermont on Tuesday evening at 6 p.m.