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Dartmouth Dominant in 4-1 Victory Against Harvard in Home Finale

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By John and Matt Risley

HANOVER, N.H. - Officially, five members of the Dartmouth field hockey team played their final home game Saturday afternoon, taking down Harvard, 4-1, at Chase AstroTurf Field to improve to 5-1 in the Ivy League.

But a scheduling change now has New Hampshire coming to play a home game with the Big Green Sunday at 3 p.m. in Hanover.

However, that last-minute quirk did not stop the Green and White from sending the senior class off in outstanding fashion in their last conference home tilt.

Winners of nine of its last 10 and four in a row, Dartmouth is one of the hottest teams in the country, something it demonstrated early on.

The Big Green came out of the gate ready to play, dominating the first half against the Crimson. Shots through the first 35 minutes of play were 16-3 in favor of the home team.

Despite that dominating presence, though, it was once again a Dartmouth team that was forced to battle out of a 1-0 hole after Harvard's Caroline Code knocked in a roller in the goalmouth just 1:33 into the game.

Code's marker proved to be the lone test, however, and was answered almost immediately as sophomore Janine Leger deflected a pass from senior Liz Blanken just 3:01 later to tie it at 1-1.

Leger would add the eventual game winner with 7:24 left in the first to put her team on top for good. Setting her up for the corner goal was senior co-captain Lisa Masini.

Building on that one-goal lead coming out of the half, two-time reigning Ivy League Player of the Week Ali Savage made it a 3-1 game 4:01 into the second. The tally was the seventh in the last four contests for the sophomore forward and pushes her point streak to four contests.

Fittingly, it was Masini would put the finishing touch on the team's fifth straight Ivy victory with her ninth goal of the season in the 62nd minute, tying her total output from her first three years wearing the Green and White.

Senior goalkeeper Jenna Stearns had to make just one save in the second half and improved her record to 7-3 this fall, while lowering her goals-against average to 2.19 in 12 games played.

Harvard's Cynthia Tassopoulos did her best to give the Crimson a chance to win, but not even her 13 saves could slow down the machine that has been the Dartmouth offense since Sept. 19 when the current run of nine wins in 10 outings began.

Maya Herm and Samantha McPherson were also part of this year's senior class and combined for three shots Saturday afternoon.

Following Sunday's game with UNH, the Big Green will venture out to Ithaca next weekend for their final Ivy game of the year. The noon meeting with Cornell on Saturday (Nov. 3) will mark the conclusion of the regular season and has the opportunity to be one that can cement the 2012 campaign as one of the best in Dartmouth field hockey's recent program history.