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Sports Roundup: LAX Teams Raise the Bar in 2004

With spring comes a new season and, hopefully, new levels of success as both the men's and women's lacrosse teams look to build on last year's accomplishments.

Smith '04Smith '04 (Photo By Mark Austin-Washburn)

The men's la-crosse team finished 2003 with an 11-3 overall record, tying a 1948 school record for the most wins. The Big Green also shared the Ivy League title and advanced to the first round of the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history.

Since then, first-year head coach Bill Wilson has replaced Rick Sowell, who departed last July, and the Big Green now will count on a surplus of underclassmen and the leadership of eight seniors to achieve the program's lofty goals. "I want Dartmouth to continue getting the recognition it deserves," Wilson says. "We can do that through continued hard work. This team has that kind of motivation."

Eight starters return from last year's squad, and a total of 32 letter winners join a recruiting class of 10 first-year students. The talent should make the Big Green a worthy foe for all opponents.

"We lost some good players from last year, but we have gained a lot more," says Wilson. "I am excited about the returnees who have worked hard during the off season, and I believe we have one of the top recruiting classes in the country."

The Big Green returns seven of the top eight point scorers in the lineup. In addition, four Dartmouth players-Ben Grinnell '05, Tom Daniels '04, Pat Keeley '05, and Jamie Coffin '06-were chosen as preseason All-Americas. Goalkeeper Andrew Goldstein '05 also has been tabbed a preseason All-America.

The midfield rotation for the Big Green in 2004 will be led by Daniels, Grinnell, and senior Russell Radebaugh. Anchoring the Big Green defense will be Keeley and Adam White '05. Goldstein was an honorable mention All-Ivy in 2003 after posting an 11-2 record in goal, with a stellar 6.64 goals against average.

Dartmouth will play a demanding schedule this season, with six games against the top 20 teams, including tilts with Rutgers, Cornell, and Princeton. "This season will require a true team effort," says Wilson. "We are a very athletic team and can match up with anyone on our schedule."

While the men's team seeks a second straight berth in the NCAA tournament, the women's team hopes to move beyond just qualifying for a bid. After playing a solid 45 minutes before ultimately falling 13-5 to Maryland in last year's quarterfinals, the Big Green adopted a rallying cry for this year: "If you want something you've never had, you've got to do something you've never done: believe."

So what does it all mean?

Goldstein '05
Goldstein '05 (Photo By Mark Austin-Washburn)

"Last year we did very well, but we were young. I think this year everyone's grown up a little bit and we're setting our expectations high," says senior captain Lana Smith. "At the end of last year, we all couldn't help but look on to this year and believe in the possibilities of what is attainable."

Head coach Amy Patton, who is entering her 12th season, believes in the slogan and, more importantly, is confident in her team's abilities. "These players want an NCAA championship," she says. "They are dreaming a dream. You have to say it, you have to believe it, and you have to dream it in order to make it happen."

There's no question that the 2004 edition of the Big Green has the talent, starting with a trio of returning All-Ivy players: Smith, junior Katieanne Christian, and goalkeeper Devon Wills '06.

Smith clearly was Dartmouth's go-to player last season, with a team-high 38 goals and a team-high 21 assists. Christian tallied 34 goals and five assists despite being plagued with an injury at season's end. Wills became only the third Dartmouth player to earn Ivy rookie of the year honors after starting all 16 games. Dartmouth also welcomes the addition of a strong class of eight first-year students.

"Having only graduated one senior last year, this year's team benefits from experience and depth with the addition of a strong freshman class," Smith says. "This year, speed is definitely one of our strengths and, hopefully, will allow us to fast break against our opponents."

While the Big Green hopes a final-four berth is in store at the end of the season, the journey to get there will still define this team.

"It's easy to judge a season by wins and losses because sports are about competition and we devote so much energy to devising a way to outplay, outlast, out-hustle our opponents," Smith says. "If we can look back on our season without regrets, I think we [will have] had a successful season."

Abdur-Rahim '04 Races to Heptathlon Victory

Senior Mustafa Abdur-Rahim broke his own school record and went on to victory in the heptathlon at the Heptagonal Indoor Track & Field Championship on February 29.

Abdur-Rahim's seven-event total of 5,645 eclipsed his school record of 5,563 points that was set earlier in the season. Both scores better the NCAA qualifying standard and earned Abdur-Rahim a spot in the NCAA Championship at the University of Arkansas last month.

Abdur-Rahim was named co-outstanding performer of the Heptagonal Championships after being named outstanding performer last year.

Honorary Inductees Named for Wearers of the Green

Seaver (Pete) Peters '54, David E. Orr '57, and Carla Manley '40a have been named honorary inductees for the fifth gathering of the Wearers of the Green on May 14 at the Westin Hotel, Copley Plaza, in Boston. The three join more than 125 new Wearers of the Green, who include Dartmouth undergraduates, graduates, and coaches honored for achievement in Ivy League athletics or as Olympians, All-Americas, world or national champions, halls of fame members, or major league professionals.

Peters was a hockey captain as an undergraduate and joined Dartmouth's athletic department staff in 1963. He served as the director of athletics from 1967 to 1983. Orr was a sportswriter for The Dartmouth and was a member of the alumni relations staff from 1960 until his retirement in 2000. Manley has continued the dedicated support for Big Green football and other sports that she shared with her late husband, John M. Manley '40.

- By Matt Dougherty

Scoreboard (as of 3/22/04)

Men's Lacrosse

3-1,0-0 Ivy

Women's Lacrosse

2-1, 0-0 Ivy

Baseball

5-3, 0-0 Ivy

Softball

0-5, 0-0 Ivy

Men's Tennis

6-5, 0-0 Ivy

Women's Tennis

8-1, 0-0 Ivy

Men's Hockey

14-11-9, 10-5-7 ECAC

Women's Hockey

24-6-2, 14-3-1 ECAC

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Last Updated: 5/30/08