Sports

Berg leads women’s soccer past Dartmouth in Ivy League opener

Despite facing early pressure from the Big Green offense, stingy goalie play led to victory

By
Sports Staff Writer
Monday, September 30, 2013

The women’s soccer team (5-2-0, Ivy 1-0) began Ivy League play Sunday afternoon, defeating Dartmouth 1-0.

The goal was scored by Kiersten Berg ’14 in the second half.

Dartmouth (3-4-1, 0-1), which finished second in the conference last season, entered Sunday’s game on the heels of three shutouts, with goalie Tatiana Saunders reigning as Ivy League player of the week.

The game started off with quick strikes by both sides. A minute into the game, Dartmouth’s leading goal scorer, Emma Brush, shot inside the goal box into the hands of goalie Amber Bledsoe ’14.

Just 30 seconds later, Chloe Cross ’15 shot toward the opposing goal, but Saunders stopped the shot.

The Big Green continued to challenge Bledsoe throughout the first half, winning six corner kicks and taking nine shots. Bledsoe made eight saves and allowed no goals.

On the other end, Saunders faced five shots from Bruno but also successfully held the team to no goals.

The scoreboard remained 0-0 for most of the second half. In the 63rd minute, Head Coach Phil Pincince pulled out his front line, replacing Berg, Cross and captain Mika Siegelman ’14 with Sydney Calas ’17, Louisa Pitney ’14 and Maddie Wiener ’14.

“We’ve utilized our team’s frontrunners a lot this year,” Pincince said. “We do a lot of running, so having fresh legs when you need them has paid dividends for us.”

The new frontline came out with energy but saw many offensive maneuvers broken by Dartmouth back Jill Dayneka. The Big Green back ended many Bruno runs by stepping in front of the forwards and turning around, slowing play and prompting several fouls.

Brown finally overcame Dayneka two minutes after the rested starting forwards reentered the game. In the 77th minute, Berg brought the ball upfield, outran Dayneka by a step and chipped her first goal of the season over Saunders’ sliding body.

“(Dayneka) is a great defender in the air, so we have to beat her on the ground,” Berg said. “Going on the flanks had been pretty successful for us, so we just kept trying to do it until it worked.”

The Bears went on the defensive for the final 10 minutes of the game, pulling their numbers back to assist second half goalie Mary Catherine Barrett ’14.

Dartmouth’s final attacks were successfully repelled by Bruno’s defense, giving Brown the 1-0 victory.

“When you only have seven games to win (the conference), intensity comes on its own,” Berg said. “Our seniors bring a lot of motivational speeches, and we get pumped up for the game.”

Pincince credited his two goalies, saying they had “been that duo since freshman year.”

“We saw something special in both of them,” Pincince said. “We had them mature together, they’ve gotten it done and it’s worked for us.”

Bruno only won one Ivy game last year. Berg said that opening the conference with a win “sets a tone.”

“We’re on top now,” Berg said. “Only four teams won this weekend, and we’re one of them.”

The Bears will play Wednesday evening, when they host Bryant University. The squad’s next conference tilt is  Saturday, when it travels to Columbia.