NCAA COLLEGE CUP SECOND ROUND
Dartmouth Big Green (9-4-5, 5-1-1 Ivy League) vs.
Syracuse Orange (11-3-4, 3-2-3 ACC)
Date: – Sunday, Nov. 20, 12 p.m.
Location: Syracuse, N.Y. – SU Soccer Stadium (1,500)
Series: Orange lead 4-3-0
After Thursday’s dramatic 1-0 win in double overtime over St. Francis Brooklyn, the Dartmouth men’s soccer team will take on eighth-seeded Syracuse in the second round of the 2016 NCAA College Cup.
SCOUTING THE ORANGE
Syracuse heads into Sunday’s match after receiving a first round bye in the NCAA Tournament. The Orange are 3-0-3 in its last six matches and have posted 10 shutout victories this season. This will be Syracuse’s fifth postseason appearance in program history and its fourth in the last five years. Last year, the Orange advanced all the way to the Final Four, where they lost to Clemson in penalty kicks in the national semifinals. Senior Chris Nanco leads the Orange with six goals and 13 points in 18 games. In goal, Syracuse has played just one goalkeeper, as Hendrik Hilpert has allowed just 11 goals with 38 saves.
LAST TIME AGAINST SYRACUSE
Prior to last year, the Big Green and Syracuse only met six times, with their last meeting in 1935. On Nov. 22, 2015, the sixth-seeded Orange defeated Dartmouth 2-1, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Justin Donawa scored in the 29th minute to open the scoring, but Syracuse came back to score two goals in the second half to end the Big Green’s tournament run. The Orange narrowly outshot Dartmouth, 14-13, and held a 6-1 advantage in corner kicks, while Big Green goalkeeper, Stefan Cleveland, made four saves.
LAST TIME OUT
Matt Danilack’s strike in double overtime extended Dartmouth’s season, propelling the Big Green to the second round for the third consecutive season. Dartmouth dictated the pace of play for the majority of the match, but had to contend with a stingy Terrier defense that had not surrendered a single goal in 980 minutes of play, dating back to Sept. 28. In the 104th minute, in the second overtime period, Danilack finally netted the golden goal when he received a cross pass from Alexander Marsh at the top of the box and fired a low shot into the lower right corner of the goal. Danilack and the Big Green bench then poured on the field to celebrate with ecstatic fans at Burnham Field. The patience paid off for Dartmouth who outshot their opponents 13-5, while senior goalkeeper James Hickok needed to make just one save in the second half to preserve his seventh shutout of the season.
SURVIVE AND ADVANCE
This is the 17th NCAA Tournament appearance for the Big Green in school history. The farthest Dartmouth has advanced is the third round, which the team has done four times, most recently in 2010. In that contest, the Big Green lost to eighth-seeded UCLA, 2-1 in double overtime. This will be the third trip to the College Cup under Bobby Clark Head Coach of Men’s Soccer, Chad Riley. In both previous trips to the post season, Riley led Dartmouth to the second round of the tournament.
DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Hickok and the Big Green defense have come up big in 2016. Hickok finished second in the Ivy League in save percentage (.841) and goals-against average (0.64). The Westport, Connecticut native posted seven shutout victories this season with a defense in front of him that has only allowed 12 goals all year.
Noah Paravicini and Danilack are tied with a team-high four goals this season. Danilack currently leads Dartmouth with 13 points in 18 games. Jonathan Nierenberg, Wyatt Omsberg and Donawa are all tied with three goals. A total of nine Big Green players have found the back of the net in 2016.
RISING IN THE RANKINGS
Dartmouth is ranked No. 25 in the nation in the NCAA Men’s Soccer RPI rankings. The Big Green are the highest Ancient Eight school on the list that is based on a team's wins, losses and its strength of schedule. Dartmouth’s defense is also ranked No. 12 in the nation with a .66 goals-against-average.
ALL OF THE IVY
Omsberg was named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year, as eight other members of the Big Green garnered All-Ivy honors. Danilack was also honored with an All-Ivy First Team selection for a splendid junior season in 2016. Hickok was tabbed for the All-Ivy First Team after he helped lead his team back to the postseason. Paravicini was named to the All-Ivy Second Team after a breakout sophomore year in Hanover. Four Dartmouth players also took home Honorable Mention from the Ivy League which included, Ricardo Gomez, Tyler Dowse, Matt Greer and Donawa.
Can’t make it to Syracuse? DartmouthSports.com will provide a live stats link for those looking to follow along during the contest.
The winner of Sunday’s game will face either North Carolina or Florida Gulf Coast in the Elite Eight on Nov. 26 or Nov. 27.