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Dartmouth Rallies Past BC, 3-2

Dartmouth striker Alex Adelabu, right, and Boston College defender Matt Dunn watch an airborne ball Monday during the teams’ nonconference game at Burnham Field. The Big Green won 3-2 in overtime. (Valley News - Tris Wykes)

Dartmouth striker Alex Adelabu, right, and Boston College defender Matt Dunn watch an airborne ball Monday during the teams’ nonconference game at Burnham Field. The Big Green won 3-2 in overtime. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Purchase photo reprints »

Hanover — When he first arrived at Dartmouth College from his native Sweden, Robin Alnas was called by his given name. His soccer teammates shortened it to “Rob”, changed that to “Bob” and eventually lengthened the moniker to “Cheddar Bob”, after a bumbling character in the 2002 hit movie 8 Mile. A wanna-be gangster, Cheddar Bob’s moment of infamy comes when he jams a loaded pistol into his waistband and it discharges into his groin.

Fortunately for the Big Green, Alnas is a better shot. The junior midfielder’s lunging tap-in of an Alex Adelabu cross in the 105th minute Monday lifted his team to a 3-2 upset of visiting Boston College, which had led the game, 2-0, late in the opening half.

“The winning play is all a blur right now,” Alnas said. “I got the ball in the center of the box and played it through to Alex and then a lot of stuff started happening. He had two or three (point-blank shots) before he got it across to me and I just poked it into the net with my toe.

“It was one of my easier goals, but one of the most important, too.”

The victory was the first for new coach Chad Riley and improved his squad to 1-0-1. The Big Green capitalized after Boston College midfielder Isaac Normesinu was ejected in the 84th minute for elbowing Dartmouth’s Alberto Gorini. The sophomore first dropped Normesinu and then went to lift him from the turf. The visitors led, 2-1, at the time but played the rest of the way down a man.

“It’s usually not a good idea to touch someone after you foul them,” Riley said with a smile. “But once that happened, we did a really good job of controlling the game.”

Dartmouth tied the game with four minutes remaining in the second half. Freshman wing Alexander Marsh redirected in a low volley off a Colin Heffron cross from the left wing, even as he was being dragged down by an Eagle defender on his back shoulder.

“He made a great effort to get there, which is funny because I’ve been giving him a hard time about not running enough this summer,’’ Riley said of Marsh, a thickly-built Floridian. “It was a good lift for us, and I really like what he’s done in the last couple of games.”

Boston College (1-2-1) scored twice in a little more than a minute to take a 2-0 lead in the 29th minute. The first tally came after a breakdown on the left side. Diego Medina-Mendez raced past a defender and beat freshman goaltender James Hickok, who made five saves during his college debut. The rookie couldn’t be faulted on that play, but botched a long throw-in on the next goal, trying to catch the ball instead of punching it away.

Boxed out by an Eagle, Hickok instead had the ball kiss off his outstretched hands and land in the crease, where Nick Butler kicked it into the net. Riley said he would have liked to have seen Dartmouth’s defenders do a better job of keeping the Boston College players out of Hickok’s way.

“It’s really tempting to try and catch the ball when it’s hanging up there,” the coach said. “It kind of dipped and he just didn’t quite get to it. It was probably just a little bit of nerves and, as a team, the long throw kind of caught us (off-balance).”

In the end, however, Dartmouth’s players were left exultant while the Eagles trudged off in dismay.

“We were pretty frustrated after the first half because we played pretty well except for 10 minutes when we got sort of rattled,’’ Riley said. “We’ve got some youth on the team and they responded so well.

“I preach to the guys that you have to keep fighting and fighting while staying composed, because then there will be game where you have 11 guys and they only have 10. That’s what happened tonight and we made the most of it.”

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com or 603-727-3227.

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