Crimson Booters Suffer Hanover Hangover, 2-1
Number One Dartmouth Prevails In a Close Defensive Struggle
Harvard and Dartmouth engaged in a defensive soccer battle here yesterday, and while Harvard held the Big Green to two goals, the sterling Dartmouth defense did Harvard one better, winning 2-1.
It was Harvard's misfortune to run up against New England's number-one team as it tries to hoist itself up in this roller coaster season. Although Harvard played a sound game, moving the ball down the wings, Dartmouth's diamond defense, which has allowed just eight goals in eight games, prevented Harvard from getting close to the net all day.
The Harvard defense could not quite match that performance, making two costly errors while the Big Green made only one. "We made two mistakes and we lost," coach George Ford said after the game. Against most teams, this game would have been in the win column for the Crimson, now 2-7-0 overall, 1-2-0 in the Ivy League.
Dartmouth, ranked 11th in the nation this week, raised its record to 6-0-2, 2-0-1 in the Ivies. The Big Green opened the scoring late in the first half, as Harvard was unable to clear a loose ball from in front of its net.
Dartmouth's Mark Schneider took a shot off a Tim Ehrsam throw-in which seemed to be wide off the net. But Harvard's John Sanacore accidently deflected the ball past startled goalie Peter Walsh.
Dartmouth dominated most of the first half, moving the ball from midfield with short passes and effectively switching sides of the field on the overshifting Harvard defense.
But the Harvard backline, led by Jim Langton and Ron Ost, kept Dartmouth from breaking in on the goal and sent away the counterattacking wings, Mauro Keller Sarmiento, Dave Eaton and Tom Hsaio, on rushes.
Dartmouth's all-Ivy goalie, Lyman Missimer, cut down several Crimson attacks coming out to snare crosses from the wings. With under a minute remaining in the half, Missimer grabbed a Keller Sarmiento chip with Steve Yakopec swooping in for the best chance of the half.
Dartmouth's second goal was the back-breaker. Second-half play resumed much as the first had ended, with end-to-end play, but with nine minutes ticked away, the Big Green's Ehrsam jumped on an errant Langton pass and sent Brian Hitchcock in alone. Harvard's Walsh came flying out of the net but Hitchcock beat him to the ball and drilled it to the left corner.
Harvard came right back at the tight Dartmouth defense, led by sweeper John Skelton and co-captain Tom Ryan. Five minutes after the Dartmouth goal, Harvard broke the ice.
John Duggan got his foot on a Dartmouth clearing attempt and the ball popped into the air and floated in just under the crossbar at 14:56.
For the rest of the way, both defenses remained stingy, and Walsh, looking into a low sun, made some difficult saves. Dartmouth outshot Harvard 20-7 but most of the day's shots were from a distance.
Ford said, "It had all the elements of a close game. We went down the wings but they are tough."
And Dartmouth's Skelton said of Harvard, "That is not a 2-7 team." The Crimson will try to prove this point again as it takes on Williams at home, Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.