HANOVER, N.H. – Sophomore Kate Maher scored her first career goal, classmate Christine Etzel registered her eighth shutout in nine matches this season, and Brown University women's soccer defeated Dartmouth College, 1-0, in both teams' Ivy League opener on Sunday afternoon at Burnham Field.
"I'm happy for the team getting its first league win this season," Brown first-year head coach Kia McNeill said. "It was a battle of the defenses, and we were tough holding the ball out of the net. Christine and our backline have been incredible all season."
The Bears (5-1-3, 1-0-0 Ivy) went ahead on a goal from Maher (Seattle, Wash.) in the 44th minute, and, on the opposite end, Etzel (Madison, Conn.) made four saves, as the visitors' defense did not concede a goal to the Big Green (6-3-0, 0-1-0 Ivy).
"It was great to see Kate get her first collegiate goal," McNeill said. "Dartmouth is a very organized and talented team so getting three points on the road is a great start to conference play."
On the game's scoring play, junior Sarah Cobb (North Tustin, Calif.) sent an in-swinging corner from the left side where junior Maclaine Lehan (Shrewsbury, Mass.) rose up to drive a header on frame. An opportunistic Maher then pounced on the ensuing rebound to knock the ball into the goal at the 43:25 mark.
With the clean sheet, Etzel (5-1-3) moved her career total to 12 shutouts and has allowed just one goal over 870 minutes on the season for a 0.10 GAA. Her 12 shutouts rank in a tie for fourth on Brown's all-time ledger.
Etzel – who entered the weekend in the top four in the NCAA in shutouts, GAA, and save percentage – moved into sole possession of third place on the Bears' single-season shutout list and has tallied the program's most clean sheets in a single season since 1986.
The Bears' back four of senior Sydney Calas (Bethesda, Md.), juniors Maclaine Lehan (Shrewsbury, Mass.) and Katy Schmidt (Corvallis, Ore.), and sophomore Nicole Phillips (Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.) once again proved vital in keeping the opposition off the scoreboard.
The visitors placed more shots on target in the first half than the hosts with bids from senior Carly Gould (Hampton Falls, N.H.), junior Mikela Waldman (San Francisco, Calif.), and sophomore Celia Story (Bainbridge Island, Wash.) all testing the goalie. Etzel contributed a save in the 8th minute.
Etzel turned aside four shots in the second half, including three attempts inside of the final 12 minutes. She and the Bears' defense dealt with several corner kicks and free kicks in the second period.
Brown – ranked No. 6 in the NSCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Rankings and No. 88 in the RPI – improved to 19-20-3 all-time against Dartmouth – ranked No. 8 in the NSCAA Mid-Atlantic Rankings and No. 102 in the RPI.
Dartmouth goalie Casey Cousineau (6-3-0) stopped three shots in the loss, allowing just her fourth goal in nine games this season.
Next, Brown hosts Columbia in its Ivy League home opener on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 3:30 p.m.
Video of all Brown women's soccer home contests and all Ivy League games, home and away, will be broadcast live on ILDN.TV/BROWN.
Tickets for all Brown women's soccer games can be purchased online, by calling the Brown Athletics Ticket Office at (401) 863-2773, or by walking up to the box office located in the Pizzitola Sports Center, open Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.