Loss Seals Third for Dartmouth Women
Dartmouth’s Liz Calby, left, works behind the net against Princeton’s Liz Bannatine. Calby scored twice, but the Big Green lost the Ivy League matchup, 15-13, at Scully-Fahey Field. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Purchase photo reprints »
Dartmouth College midfielder Courtney Bennett (12) jostles with Princeton counterpart Sarah Lloyd during a draw control yesterday at Scully-Fahey Field. The Big Green surrendered the game's last three goals during its final five minutes and lost the Ivy League contest, 15-13. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Purchase photo reprints »
Dartmouth College women's lacrosse players Jessica Venturino (26) and Kyra Hansson (8) knock sticks with their teammates after a second-half goal yesterday against Princeton. The visiting Tigers prevailed, however, winning 15-13 by scoring three times in the Ivy League game's last five minutes. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Purchase photo reprints »
Hanover — The Dartmouth College women’s lacrosse team played a lengthy and unfulfilling game yesterday, falling to Princeton, 15-13, at Scully-Fahey Field. The Ivy League contest, seemingly delayed every few minutes by Fox College Sports commercial breaks, saw the Tigers roar out to leads of 3-0 and 5-1, then score the contest’s final three goals during its last five minutes.
Big Green coach Amy Patton didn’t make any efforts to conceal her postgame angst.
“Extremely disappointed,” she said. “When we turn it on, we’re really good, but we’ve got to come out and attack a team from the start. We’ve tried a lot of different (solutions) and we’ve got to keep trying more.”
The result dropped Dartmouth to 8-6 overall and 4-2 in league play and locked it into a third-place finish in the Ancient Eight standings. The Big Green hosts Harvard on Friday in its regular season finale, then has a rematch with second-place Princeton on May 3 in the semifinals of the four-team Ivy League tournament. That event will be hosted by league champion Pennsylvania, which has won its seventh consecutive Ivy title and will play fourth-place Cornell in the other semifinal.
Dartmouth lost yesterday’s first eight draw controls, but nonetheless rallied for a 5-5 tie six minutes before halftime and for a 6-6 deadlock at the break. There were five more ties during the second half, but the hosts had momentum on their side when Lindsey Allard scored off a Hana Bowers pass for a 13-12 lead with 8:38 showing on the scoreboard. Four minutes later, however, a rarely-called foul started to unravel the Big Green’s good feeling.
After making one of her six saves, Dartmouth goaltender Kristen Giovanniello controlled the ball in her crease while teammates spread out and up the field. An experienced junior, Giovanniello nonetheless cradled the ball in the circle too long and was whistled for exceeding the 10-second time limit. Upon the restart of play, she was placed behind her own goal by the referees and Princeton’s Erin Slifer immediately passed to Mary-Kate Sivilli, who scored into the open net.
“It’s not (a penalty) you see called often, but once the ball goes in that circle, the clock starts ticking and she pushed the limit on it,” Patton said. “Our rule of thumb is if it gets to eight in your head, then you’re out. It was just a mental lapse on her part and it was the wrong time for that to happen. It was a rough few seconds for us and we’ve got to respond better.”
Princeton (9-5, 6-1) scored again with 2:25 remaining to take a 14-13 lead, then won its 20th draw control in 29 chances and essentially ran out the clock. The Tigers closed the scoring with two seconds to go, disappointing many in an announced crowd of 692.
“Half those draws, we had it in our stick and it’s just putting your nose in there and coming out with it,” Patton said. “Both teams had a lot of chances at the ball on the draw and it’s a mess in there and a really difficult call for the officials. Princeton came out with double the amount that we did.
“The amount we had to play defense today was troubling. We just needed more offensive chances. When we got the ball in our attacking end, we got some really good looks at goal, but in the second half we had seven shots to their 18.”
Dartmouth has played eight games decided by two goals or less. Although the Big Green is 5-3 in such contests, Patton wonders how a little more oomph at just the right times might have her team’s record in a better state.
“We seem to play only half a game and yet still be in it at the end,” the coach said. “It would be really great to see what we could do if we played 45 or 50 minutes of a game, not even 60.”
Bowers and Sarah Byrne led Dartmouth with three goals each, while Courtney Bennett, Liz Calby and Allard had two apiece. Gabby Starkey also tallied.
Notes: The NCAA tournament has expanded to 26 teams this season, with 13 at-large berths. Should Dartmouth beat Harvard and reach the Ivy Tournament final, it would seem a good bet to be included in the postseason draw. … Princeton started goaltender Caroline Franke, but replaced her with Annie Woehling for the final five minutes, despite no apparent injury. … Friday’s game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. … Princeton leads the teams’ series, 23-17, and beat the Big Green for the second consecutive time. … Tigers attacker Erin McMunn entered with 33 goals, but scored only once.
Tris Wykes can be reached at email@example.com or 603-727-3227.