×

UNH Bounces Dartmouth Men’s Soccer in Second Round of the NCAA Tournament

  • From left, Dartmouth College's Wyatt Omsberg (3), Tyler Dowse (20) and Matt Danilack (18) react to a loss on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017, after the second round of the NCAA men's soccer tournament against the University of New Hampshire at Burnham Field in Hanover, N.H. UNH won, breaking the 0-0 tie in penalty kicks. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • The University of New Hampshire's Siggi Geirsson (6) attempts to block a pass made by Dartmouth College's Dawson McCartney (11) on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017, during the second round of the NCAA men's soccer tournament at Burnham Field in Hanover, N.H. UNH won, breaking the 0-0 tie in penalty kicks. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Dartmouth College's Chris Palacios (23) dives onto the ball on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017, during the second round of the NCAA men's soccer tournament against the University of New Hampshire at Burnham Field in Hanover, N.H. UNH won, breaking the 0-0 tie in penalty kicks. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Correspondent
Sunday, November 19, 2017

Hanover — The Dartmouth College men’s soccer team suffered its first home loss of the season on Sunday, and by the narrowest of margins.

UNH defeated the Big Green, 4-1, in a penalty-kick shootout following 110 minutes of scoreless play in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

“One of the hardest things to do is play really well and lose in our game,” said Big Green coach Chad Riley. “PKs maybe does feel like it puts a little salt in the wound with it but, yeah, it’s just so abrupt, I think, is the reality.”

Sunday’s defensive battle at Burnham Field was in contrast to a 4-2 win by the Wildcats (14-3-4) when the Granite State powerhouses faced off Oct. 17 in Durham.

“We’ve been pretty solid the past few games, haven’t let up many goals,” said Dartmouth senior Wyatt Omsberg, the Ivy League’s defensive player of the year. “They have a good attacking team, but I feel like we went into the game very confident with our defense, and I think we held pretty strong today, limiting their opportunities, and frustrated them a lot in their attacks.”

The high-stakes contest, played before an announced crowd of 891, featured a few Dartmouth near-misses down the stretch. Wildcat defender Josh Bauer denied Dawson McCartney from point-blank range with 8:10 remaining in regulation, Willis Griffith also saved the game by blocking a bid in front of the net by Yima Asom with 6:14 left in the second overtime period, and McCartney and Matt Danilack both hit the top of the net during extra time.

Dartmouth (12-4-1) finished with 13 shots while the visitors took 16. The Big Green committed seven fouls compared to two by UNH. Both teams attempted eight corner kicks, and Dartmouth goalkeeper Chris Palacios finished with seven saves while his UNH counterpart, Andrew Pesci, registered three.

Controversy came early in the second overtime when Asom went down inside the Wildcat box, but no whistle was blown.

“Of course, from my perspective it looked like a takedown for sure, and we certainly said that,” Riley said. “But I think it’s a testament to (Dartmouth). They’re running at the end, looking for those moments to make a play and for whatever reason, we just couldn’t find the finishing touch. … Credit to UNH, great blocks by them to save the game.”

Then came the nerve-wracking shootout.

New Hampshire’s Griffith opened the scoring by beating Palacios in the first round before Omsberg countered with a successful strike against Pesci. Dante Lamb then scored for UNH, and Pesci thwarted an attempt by Henry Baldwin. Next, Josh Bauer scored for the Wildcats before the Big Green’s Braden Salvati sailed one over the crossbar. German standout Robin Schmidt clinched it for the Wildcats.

Sunday’s big stage was a homecoming for UNH sophomore forward, Jack Doherty, a graduate of Kimball Union Academy, where his father, Mike Doherty, is the athletic director and boys soccer coach. Mike Doherty previously coached men’s soccer at Colgate University for 20 years.

“Right when I saw the draw and that we had Dartmouth, I was like, just going back home again,” Jack Doherty said. “I can’t really describe it; it’s awesome. Growing up here, you come to all the games. Now, here I am. … I had a bunch of fans from here that I’ve known most of my life. No better feeling.”

Doherty, who contributed two assists in his team’s 3-0 win over Fairfield in the first round, spoke during Sunday’s post-match news conference about the Wildcats’ team cohesion.

“Everybody gets along; we’re all fighting for the same thing,” he said. “We all have each other’s backs. We defend with 11, attack with 10; that’s just how we go from there. If a guy’s beat, another guy’s covering for him.”

Notes: Dartmouth (6-0-1 in Ivy League play), ranked No. 17 in this week’s United Soccer Coaches Division I poll, earned the 15th seed in the tournament by claiming the league’s automatic bid. … Albany won the America East Conference, but UNH earned an unseeded at-large bid. … The Big Green’s last trip to the third round was in 2010; they made it to the quarterfinals in both 1990 and 1992. … Riley was the Ivy League coach of the year and McCartney, its rookie of the year. … UNH features six graduate students to Dartmouth’s none. … Sunday marked just the second game of the season that the Wildcats played on natural grass. … Playing in its first national tournament in 23 years, UNH will face undefeated Indiana next weekend in the round of 16.