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None, and done: Big Green men’s lax season over with streak intact

  • Dartmouth College lacrosse players await the start of a postgame ceremony honoring their team's seniors after Saturday's 11-7 loss to Ivy League foe Brown at Scully-Fahey Field. From left, Matt Paul, Mike Connolly, Alex Burnley and William Stonestreet. The Big Green finished the season 2-11 overall and 0-6 in league play and has dropped 29 consecutive Ivy contests. (Valley News - Tris Wykes)

  • Dartmouth College's Will Randell (22) and George Prince (3) flank falling Brown defenseman Alex Santangelo during Saturday's Ivy League lacrosse game at Scully-Fahey Field. Peter Rizzotti (13) is in the background. The visiting Bears won, 11-7, increasing the Big Green's Ivy League losing streak to 29 consecutive games. (Valley News - Tris Wykes)

  • Brown University's Andrew Geppert runs across Scully-Fahey Field's center line Saturday, leaving Dartmouth's Matt Paul in his wake. The visiting Bears won, 11-7, handing the Big Green its 29th consecutive Ivy League loss. (Valley News - Tris Wykes)

  • Dartmouth College's Peter Rizzotti, left, and Foster Burnley celebrate the former's goal Saturday against Brown at Scully-Fahey Field. The Big Green lost, 11-7, in its season finale and has dropped 29 consecutive Ivy League games. (Valley News - Tris Wykes)

  • Dartmouth College Landon McKenzie shares a Senior Day moment with his parents, Carrill Kelly and Bart McKenzie, after Saturday's season finale against Brown at Scully-Fahey Field. The Big Green suffered its 29th consecutive Ivy League loss, 11-7, and graduates six seniors, none of them starters. (Valley News - Tris Wykes)



Valley News Staff Writer
Saturday, April 27, 2019

HANOVER — Twenty-nine and counting.

That’s the number of consecutive Ivy League losses for the Dartmouth College men’s lacrosse team, which suffered its latest setback Saturday with an 11-7 tumble against Brown at Scully-Fahey Field. The Big Green honored its seniors after the season-ending contest, but it was bittersweet, for the six will graduate without having experienced a league victory.

“Those guys have been through a lot and it’s really tough that we couldn’t get one for them this year,” said junior midfielder Harlan Smart, whose team dropped its eighth consecutive game and finished 2-11 overall and 0-6 in Ivy play. “Their leadership has been incredible for the changes we’ve made in our program, culture-wise.”

Dartmouth led, 5-3, at halftime and had clearly outworked Brown (7-8, 3-3). However, the hosts surrendered a goal eight seconds after intermission and lost the lead for good by the third quarter’s conclusion. Dartmouth’s terrible faceoff performance continued, as the Bears won 20 of 22 draws, leaving the Big Green with a 30 percent success rate for the season, its fourth consecutive campaign without an Ivy triumph.

“I thought we outplayed them in a lot of ways today but we didn’t finish enough,” said fifth-year coach Brendan Callahan who is 12-54 overall and 1-29 in league contests at Dartmouth. “I was really proud of our fight today.”

Smart opened the scoring but the Bears, who have won 12 consecutive times in the series, took a 3-1 lead late in the first quarter. The Big Green used tallies by Jimmy Heidt and Trevor Ballantyne and two from Matt Paul to go up by two goals at intermission. Brown’s quick strike to begin the second half was followed by one from Dartmouth’s Mike Connolly, but the visitors scored the next four goals and seven of the game’s last eight.

“When you play a team like Brown, that wants to run and shoot the ball 70 times if it can, we want to make it a half-field game,” Callahan said. “When we did that, we were pretty successful. Then they put in (attackman Jackson Newsome), who’s an inside finisher and we had some problems with him.”

Newsome had four goals on five shots and teammate Luke McCaleb had four goals and three assists. Brown’s Phil Goss made seven saves but faced only 14 shots on goal out of 31 attempted by the Big Green.

Dartmouth freshman Daniel Hincks made 13 saves. Brown, which will compete in the four-team Ivy League tournament next weekend and play top-seeded Pennsylvania, committed 26 turnovers and cleared it own end on only 19 of 27 attempts.

The Big Green, hamstrung by turnovers most of the season, committed just 13 of them Saturday and was 19 of 23 on clears, but was walloped on ground balls, 46-26. Callahan noted that the Bears scored directly off four scoops.

Dartmouth has endured losing seasons the last seven consecutive years and in eight of the last nine. The exception was a tie for sixth in the seven-team Ivy League. The Big Green lost a league-record 31 consecutive league games from 1988-93. At its current pace and schedule configuration, it would set a new mark next April when it hosts Yale. Ivy contests at Harvard and against visiting Cornell will presumably precede the matchup with the Bulldogs.

“We need guys who make plays consistently,” Smart said. “We need to learn what it takes to win an Ivy League game.

“We all believe we have it in us but it starts right now, with everyone improving everything about their game before next season.”

Notes: Dartmouth’s seniors are David Marshall, Tucker Brown, Will Randell, Landon McKenzie, Tyler Haskel and Austin Meacham. The latter was an All-Ivy defender last spring but played only one game this season because of an injury. … Attackman Ben Martin, Dartmouth’s leading scorer with 27 goals and 15 assists, didn’t have a point Saturday. … Brown is in the Ivy League tournament for the fifth consecutive year. The Big Green hasn’t qualified since the event began in 2010. All other Ivy teams have reached the tournament at least three times. … Dartmouth has finished alone in last place 24 times since Ivy League men’s lacrosse began in 1956. It’s also finished sixth six times. … The Big Green’s last league victory was an overtime defeat of Harvard during the 2015 Ivy opener. The Big Green beat Vermont the next time out and that’s the last time the program has won consecutive games. … Dartmouth’s three Ivy League titles are the fewest among members since the circuit was formed in 1956. Each crown was shared, including a three-way tie with Princeton and Cornell in 2003, the last time the Big Green earned championship rings. The other titles came in 1963 and 1965. … The Ivy record for consecutive league victories is 39, set by Cornell from 1973-79. It was ended by a one-goal loss at Dartmouth. … Dartmouth’s lone NCAA tournament appearance came in 2003, when it nearly upset longtime power Syracuse on the road. … The Big Green has never produced an Ivy League Player of the Year but has contributed four Rookie of the Year winners — Jenkins Marshall (1983), Brian Merritt (1994), Jamie Coffin (2003) and Ari Sussman (2007). … Dartmouth has surrendered more goals than it’s allowed in 11 consecutive Ivy seasons and 14 of the last 15 campaigns. … The Big Green’s 12 victories during the last five seasons have come against Wagner (3), Vermont (2), UMass-Lowell (2), Canisius, Binghamton, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Michigan and Harvard. … Former Dartmouth coach Andy Towers, a 1993 Brown graduate, is fifth on the Bears’ career scoring list with 150 goals and 53 assists.

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com.