HANOVER, N.H. – Looking back at the 2016 Dartmouth men’s soccer season, the Big Green have a lot to be proud of after capping off one of the best three-year spans in program history.
After winning Ivy League titles in 2014 and 2015, Dartmouth became the first school in 31 years to win three consecutive Ivy League crowns. The last school to do so was Columbia in 1985. It was also the first Big Green squad to win three consecutive titles since Ancient Eight play began in 1955. Dartmouth’s dominance in conference play led to 16 league wins in a three-year period, the most of any stretch in program history.
Finishing the season 9-5-5 overall, (5-1-1 Ivy League), the Big Green earned a trip back to the NCAA College Cup, where they hosted St. Francis Brooklyn in the first round. In that contest, Matt Danilack’s goal in double overtime propelled Dartmouth to the second round for the third consecutive season, another first in program history. The Big Green ran into eighth-seeded Syracuse in the second round where, in a blizzard with 20 mph winds, Dartmouth fell to the Orange.
The Big Green finished the 2016 campaign ranked No. 25 in RPI, which is based on a team's wins, losses and its strength of schedule. Dartmouth opened the season on Sept. 2 with a tough test against No. 17 Kentucky. The Big Green battled hard for 120 minutes, settling for the 1-1 draw. After another 1-1 draw with Xavier, Dartmouth defeated a talented No. 24 Seattle squad in a come from behind, 2-1 victory at home.
On Oct. 5, Dartmouth claimed a 1-0 victory over No. 25 New Hampshire at Burnham Field which sparked a three-game win streak where the Big Green league matches against Yale and Penn. After falling 1-0 to Boston University in overtime, Dartmouth bounced back with a key, 1-0 win at Columbia on Oct. 22, before recording a pair of shutout victories over Cornell and Brown to clinch the Ivy League title for the third consecutive season.
The Ivy League title was the first of many honors the Big Green received this season. After being a steady force on defense all season, Wyatt Omsberg was honored as the program's first All-American since 2009. Omsberg was named to the NSCAA Third Team All-American list after contributing to a defensive front that only surrendered 12 goals in the regular season. The Scarborough, Maine native was also honored as the Ancient Eight’s top defensive player, as well as a First Team All-Ivy selection for the second consecutive season.
Danilack was also honored with an All-Ivy First Team selection for a second consecutive season after a splendid junior year in 2016. Danilack started in 18 of 19 games played and led Dartmouth with 13 points on four goals and a team-high five assists.
In goal, James Hickok went 9-4-4 in his first year as the team’s No. 1 goaltender with 64 saves and a 0.73 goals-against-average. The Westport, Connecticut native was second in the Ivy League in GAA and save percentage (.841), with six shutout victories in the regular season, earning a place on the Ivy League First Team.
Noah Paravicini also had a breakout sophomore year in Hanover. Paravicini scored the game-winning-goal in a 2-0, victory over Brown on Nov. 12 to propel the Big Green to the league title. The Petaluma, California, native finished the season with 10 points in 19 games played and an All-Ivy Second Team selection. Four Dartmouth players also took home Honorable Mention from the Ivy League which included, Ricardo Gomez, Tyler Dowse, Matt Greer and Justin Donawa.
For six weeks this season, the Big Green were ranked in the TopDrawerSoccer.com Top 25. After debuting at No. 22 in the preseason poll, Dartmouth rose as high as No. 16 in the third week of the season.
Although the Big Green will lose seven seniors to graduation, Dartmouth will return eight of the nine players who found the back of the net during the historic 2016 season.