HANOVER, N.H. — When the Dartmouth men's soccer team and the Haitian National Team met on Burnham Field last Friday night, it was much more than a game.
The game was part of a five-day tour for the Haitians, who played games against Dartmouth and Harvard to raise money for Partners in Health's earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.
On a chilly spring evening, more than 2000 fans filled the Burnham Field stands and showed a great camaraderie, cheering for scoring opportunities, goals and great defensive plays by both teams. Haiti, nicknamed Les Grenadiers, won the game 2-1, though Dartmouth struck first in the match when Stoian Nedelchev (Solfia, Bulgaria) scored off a cross from Colin Skelly (Wrightstown, Pa.) just five minutes in. A penalty kick midway through the second half ultimately proved the winner for Haiti, however.
Admission was free but fans were encouraged to make donations and our community responded by raising more than $5,200 that will go directly to helping Haiti's continued reconstruction.
Though the Haitians prevailed on the pitch, the game showed the true generosity of the Upper Valley community and the ability of sport to transcend geography, economics and cultures an ocean apart.