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HANOVER, N.H. – This weekend the Dartmouth women’s soccer team begins its season, leading off the Big Green in athletic events.

The 26-player roster is led with leadership and experience in its five seniors, after losing six players to graduation. Last year’s All-Ivy honorees are all returning as well, with hopes to improve on the 7-7-2 record in 2016.

Head coach Ron Rainey and his staff have high hopes for 2017 and the opportunity it presents.

“We are excited about 2017,” Rainey said. “We have a nice mix of older and younger players who are working hard to bond as we get ready for the season. We feel if we can establish ourselves as a tenacious and disciplined group, we can have success early in the season and into the Ivy League.”

Junior Remi Borinsky is among the returnees and is a key member of Dartmouth’s game. She started all 16 games last year and finished the season with four points. Her performance on the field garnered honors from the Ivy League as well as the NSCAA and the New England Soccer Journal.

Another notable returnee is senior Brittany Champagne. Also scoring four points on last season, Champagne was named to the All-Ivy Second Team for her scoring and defensive contributions.  Senior defender Lindsay Knutson, who was an all-conference honorable mention, returns to the field after her defensive efforts helped to hold opponents to only 15 goals.

New this year to the Big Green are seven freshmen. Mariel Gordon, Erin Kawakami, Avery Schuldt, Lorna MacFarlane, Taylor Olson, Bonnie Shea and Claire Trop will all make their collegiate debut.

The Big Green have a full non-conference slate, with eight matchups against challenging opponents. Four of the first eight games are against teams that played in last year’s College Cup. Long Beach State, Albany and Northeastern all lost in the first round, but Pepperdine continued to round two, at which point they exited the tournament.

The Ivy League schedule includes a home game against Harvard, who also made a tournament appearance, and lost in the first round last fall. The Crimson won the Ivy League outright last year, finishing 5-0-2 in conference play, and will be the team to beat this season. 

“We have looked to challenge this group in the non-conference portion of our schedule as we get ready for the Ivy League conference season,” Rainey said. “As we returned to campus, you could see many players put some great work into their off-season training, and we have had a productive training thus far in August.”

Dartmouth opens the season at home against Florida International on Friday, Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. and hosts Stony Brook Sunday, Aug. 27 at 1 p.m.