Nov. 14, 2004
Hanover, NH - With the Ivy title and NCAA automatic bid on the line, the Brown men's soccer team was unable to defend its Ivy title on Sunday, falling just short with a 2-1 loss to Dartmouth. The Big Green, who had already captured a share of the title last weekend, gained sole possession of the title with the win and will head to the NCAA Tournament, which will begin next weekend. Brown closes out the season with an 8-7-2 overall and 4-3 Ivy mark while the Big Green completed an undefeated Ivy season, going 5-0-2.
Slippery conditions affected the game from the opening whistle with players losing their balance throughout the game. Brown found itself in a big hole just 20 minutes into the game as Dartmouth got two goals off muddled scrambles in front of the net. The Big Green's first goal came in the ninth minute of play when they caught senior goalkeeper Chris Gomez out of net in a rush for a loose ball.
The second goal came just over ten minutes later off an errant rebound near the net. A Brown defender blocked the initial shot as the ball deflected into the air and was volleyed hard towards a cluster of players inside the box. The ball deflected off a Brown defender and ricocheted into the top left corner of the net to give the Big Green a big 2-0 lead.
The Bears were able to rebound, cutting Dartmouth's lead to just one in the 36th minute of the first half. Senior Marcos Romaneiro served in a set kick that connected with sophomore Ben Brackett, who volleyed in his own rebound. The goal was Brackett's second of the season.
From then on out Brown dominated control of the ball, not allowing a shot on goal in the second half. Despite several good scoring opportunities the Bears could not get the equalizer though. Going into today's game the Big Green had only allowed two goals in league action all season. Last season, it was the Bears who had only allowed two goals in Ivy play, both penalty kicks.
The 2004 NCAA Tournament bracket will be announced tomorrow afternoon. Eight of Brown's 17 opponents this season were ranked in the NSCAA adidas or Soccer America Polls, including seven of its ten non-league opponents. The Bears peaked at #20 in the NSCAA/adidas Poll after battling #4 Cal and #5 Stanford to 0-0 draws earlier in the season. The year was also highlighted by the team's first place finish at the Yale Classic.