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This season, senior tri-captains' Emma Brush, Kim Rose and Aurelia Solomon will give a behind-the scenes look at the 2012 Dartmouth women's soccer team. Be sure to follow along for all the fun throughout the 2012 season.

Tuesday, September 18

Hello Dartmouth Women's Soccer Fans! A lot has happened since captain Kimberly Rose last checked in!  I believe she left off just before we were preparing to depart for Orlando, Florida, to play UCF and University of Southern Florida.

The trip down toward the heat and humidity was quite eventful.  The women's volleyball team challenged us to a music video competition and we accepted with great enthusiasm.  Allison Yeager, Marina Moschitto and Libby Hamlin took advantage of time on the bus and in the airport to direct an original remix of R. Kelly's Ignition.

Back to soccer, though-the weekend was quite exciting.  We opened our season against UCF (currently ranked 6th in the country).  Although we ended up losing 2-0, we played well, outshooting them and posting more corners, and were ultimately encouraged by the game.  Not to mention that it motivated us even more to come out on Sunday and earn our first victory against USF.  We got it done.  We pushed through the heat and came out ahead, 2-1 with goals from Kim Rose and then Kendall Kraus, who capitalized on a sick play created by freshman Catherine Granville.  The coaches were also really happy with our defensive line and how cohesively they were working only two games in.

University of Maine would be our next test, and we finished with a decisive win, 3-1.  We found it to be an awesome opportunity to use our 4-4-2 formation the way the coaching staff intends-to attack down the sidelines and serve the ball in.  All three of our goals were combination plays.

We took this attacking mentality to the No. 16 Rutgers team, our next opponent.  Our home opener in front of an enthusiastic crowd, the game was fast-paced and heart breaking, as we ultimately lost 2-1 in the last few minutes of play.  Again, though, despite that fact that it was a loss, we recognized the potential our team showed once more against a Top 20 team.  We took from the game what we needed and then turned our attention to UNH.

The Granite State Cup, as we call it, is always a physical and emotional game.  Gridlocked through most of the first half, Marina Moschitto broke the ice with a rip from outside, which gave us momentum going into the second half.  Tasha Wilkins also put in a shot from outside the box in her first game back from an ankle injury, and Chrissy Lozier finished us off with a header goal (her second of the season) assisted by Libby Hamlin.  Most exciting, perhaps, was the shutout result, our first of the season.

Our energy was high for the trip to Fordham, our most recent game.  They were a good team, having beaten University of Maryland early in their season, but we powered past them 3-0, starting with a sick goal from Corey Delaney (this week's Ivy Rookie of the Week).

Needless to say, we are amped about the way the season has been going and anxious for the Ivies to start.  We open against Brown this Sunday at 1 p.m. and hope to see again the great support we have gotten so far on Burnham Field from our fellow athletes, students, and community members.

Until next time,

Emma Brush

Wednesday, August 29

Hello! This is Kim Rose '13 checking in from the Dartmouth women's soccer team! We just finished day 12 of our preseason, and our second to last two-a-day of the fall! So far, we have had a very eventful and exciting preseason.   Everyone was very excited to reunite on August 16 after a long summer of training and preparing for our fall season.  We started preseason with a fitness test and the inevitable nervous jitters that always accompany the first morning.  However, our off-season training soon became evident as we crushed one of the hardest fitness tests our team has ever endured.  Later that afternoon, we got right down to business by playing the always anticipated Green vs. White scrimmage, facing off against our teammates and fueling some healthy intra-squad competition.  The scrimmage marked our first encounter with Big Bad Burnham, and it was a great way to end the first day of preseason. 

Two days later, we all put on our white jerseys to play an exhibition match against the University of Montreal.  We came out from the start with high intensity, and created numerous scoring opportunities within the first few minutes.  The game was a true team effort, involving the hard work of all 25 of us.  Ultimately, we won by a score of 2-0, our first win the season! It felt amazing to finally be back on the battlefield together as a team, and we ended day three on a high that can only follow a win. 

The following afternoon, our team witnessed a wake up call with Part One of "The Program," a team-building experience unlike anything we had ever done before.  The purpose of "The Program" is to use mental and physical challenges to break teams down in order to build them back up stronger than before.  Day 1 of the program included lifting large, heavy logs over our heads, running with sand bags, running suicides while carrying our teammates in "fireman lifts," and about 984 pushups (roughly), all completed while enduring the continual critique of a former Army sergeant.  I think the most memorable moment was when our team huddled together before the last challenge, screaming our pump-up ritual at the top of our lungs for all of Dartmouth to hear-the atmosphere was truly electrifying.  After four hours out on the hot turf, we completed day 1 of "The Program", impressing everyone with our fitness and mental stamina. 

Day 2 of "The Program" began the next morning (or later that night?) at 4:50 AM at the pool in Alumni Gym.  Here the real mental challenge began, as we ditched the comfort of the turf and entered the unknown depths of the pool, where we were given the hardest task of "The Program" We were told to jump in the pool wearing sweatpants and sweatshirts, and on command, switch sweatshirts with a partner as fast as possible while continuing to tread water.  We soon learned this was no easy feat.  Our first try ended in chaos, but we improved with every attempt and eventually cut our time down by one third.  Throughout "The Program", the presence of our coaching staff, trainer, and multiple members of the Athletic Department offered us support and solidarity.  After witnessing my teammates step up as leaders, risk their own well being for the sake of others, and endure numerous physical and mental challenges, I never felt so proud to call myself a member of the Dartmouth women's soccer team.  It was truly amazing to see our team emerge from "The Program" as the embodiment of the Program motto: "One team, one heartbeat."  Since "The Program", our coaches have continued to challenge us at every training session, and everyday we are getting better and better.  Training for two sessions per day can be both mentally and physical grueling, but we have attacked each session with a blue-collar attitude, enthusiasm, and pride.

Off the field, our team is as close-knit as ever.  The freshmen class has effortlessly integrated into the team, bringing awesome personalities along with an abundance of talent.   Whether we are playing "Mafia" in the dorms, making S'mores around a bonfire, tie-dying t-shirts with the field hockey team, taking trips to Ice Cream Fore-U, or sharing meals together, we always have a blast.  Although preseason means hard work, for us it also means that for just a few weeks, we get to live the dream: eat, sleep, play soccer, and hang out with our best friends-life could not be better! 

We only have a couple of days left until we face off in Orlando against Central Florida, currently ranked No. 9 in the nation.  Guided by our team values and our 2012 team motto "Make It Happen," we will be heading down to Florida confident and ready to attack this amazing opportunity.  Whatever happens, when we walk off the field in Florida, the opposition will know they just played Dartmouth.

Until next time,