Men’s soccer | Defensive day on tap

If history holds true, then the men’s soccer team should be in for a close, low-scoring game this weekend.

The Bulldogs (4-4-1, 0-1 Ivy) travel to Hanover to face Dartmouth (5-3-1, 0-0-1) tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. in what promises to be a tough defensive contest. Each team has only given up eight goals in nine games so far this season.

According to defender Max Rhodes ’09, Dartmouth’s strength at forward adds to what is traditionally a strong defensive squad.

“Every time we play Dartmouth, it’s a battle,” Rhodes said. “They play very good defense and are very organized. But this year, they also have a very potent attack, with two very good forwards.”

The Bulldogs have not won at Dartmouth since 1992, although recent contests at Burnham Field have been close, with four of the last five going to overtime.

This is the second of three straight away games to open the Ivy League season for the Bulldogs. Yet Rhodes does not see this as a disadvantage.

“I don’t think playing on the road is that much different,” he said. “In a way it’s good. It gives you a chance to get away from distractions.”

Dartmouth got off to a hot start this season, defeating Indiana — who had been ranked as high as No. 3 in a Soccer America poll — on Sept. 7, on their way to a 4-1 record. Since then, though, the Big Green has only won one of their last four games, including a 1-0 loss to Fairfield — the same score by which the Stags defeated the Bulldogs on Sept. 27.

This is each team’s second Ivy League contest. Both had disappointing conference openers on the road, with Yale falling to Harvard 1-0 while the Big Green tied Princeton 1-1.

“Both teams have a lot to play for, a lot to prove,” Rhodes said. “Neither of us got the results we were looking for last weekend.”

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