Sports

Blowout loss caps difficult season

Defeat to Dartmouth sends men's soccer to first losing season in over a decade, fifth-place Ivy finish

By
Senior Staff Writer
Monday, November 17, 2014

Quinn English ’16, left, and Ben Maurey ’15.5, right, run toward the action. The pair combined for over a quarter of Bruno’s shots this season. But the Bears managed to score just 14 goals during the 2014 campaign.

Dartmouth handed the men’s soccer team its worst loss of 2014 Saturday — a 3-0 rout that ended the Bears’ season on a sour note in Hanover. 

“They finished their chances, and we didn’t finish ours,” said Head Coach Patrick Laughlin. “It’s a difficult score line, but we felt like we played a good game overall. The score wasn’t indicative of our performance.”

Nate Pomeroy ’17, who was injured in the game against the University of Vermont (8-9-2) on Sept. 26, returned to the starting lineup against the Big Green (11-4-2, 5-1-0 Ivy). Laughlin said he wanted Pomeroy to warm up and play immediately, rather than stand on the sidelines getting cold and then having to come into the game as a substitute.

The striker’s return was bittersweet for Bruno (5-6-6, 2-3-2), as Pomeroy re-injured himself and was forced to leave the game. But Laughlin expressed high hopes for the sophomore’s next two seasons as a Bear.

“He was really dangerous in the first half of the season, and I thought he was poised for a big year,” Laughlin said. “But I think he’s going to be a catalyst for us offensively in the future.”

The Big Green, which grabbed a share of the Ivy League title with the win over Bruno, opened the scoring in the 12th minute. Tyler Dowse drilled a pass into the box that found the feet of the team’s leading scorer, Alex Adelabu. The senior took one touch to settle the ball, then zipped a shot low on the ground and past diving goalkeeper Mitch Kupstas ’14.5 to give Dartmouth a 1-0 lead.

The Bears’ offense held its own in the first half, keeping pace with Dartmouth in terms of shots (7-5) and corners (1-2). Dartmouth keeper Stefan Cleveland had a tremendous game — the junior made seven saves to keep Bruno at bay and off the scoreboard for the full 90 minutes.

But the Big Green was the better offensive team for most of the night. Dartmouth’s midfielders all had deft first touches and distributed the ball well. The team’s left and right backs were also heavily involved in the attack, and the Bears struggled to defend the extra player flying up the field. On numerous occasions, a Dartmouth defender would charge up the flank completely unabated and fire a cross into the box.

Following a foul by Mike Leone ’17 in the 67th minute, Big Green midfielder Stefan Defregger placed a well-struck free kick into the box. The ball bounced off a Dartmouth head, forcing Kupstas to make a diving save. But Adelabu was right there to clean up the rebound with a flick into the side netting that doubled the Big Green’s lead.

Dartmouth sealed the game and the conference crown in the 80th minute, when defender Tommy Johnson snuck a shot past Kupstas and inside the near post to extend Dartmouth’s lead to three goals.

As the final horn sounded, a sellout crowd of 1,600 fans stormed the field to celebrate with the home team.

The loss dropped Bruno into a tie with Penn (6-9-2, 2-3-2) for fifth place in the Ivy League. The Bears finished the season with a sub-.500 overall record for the first time since the 2002 season, when they posted a 5-8-4 record.

To add insult to injury, the team will take a hit next season following the graduation of starters Kupstas, Alex Markes ’15 and Daniel Taylor ’15, all of whom Laughlin praised for their work ethic and dedication to the team.

But Laughlin said his most recent crop of rookies, along with a healthy Pomeroy, has made him excited to begin preparing for next year.

“My hat is off to all the freshmen,” Laughlin said. “They set a standard for themselves that they will have to live up to and move past next season after earning so many minutes this year. I expect them all to do more and be an even bigger part of the team next year.”

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