The Dartmouth Big Green are one of the Ivy League teams that has been on the lower end of the standings for the past couple years. Last year’s biggest triumph was a huge upset win over Ivy League rival Princeton, when Dartmouth took down the highly touted Tigers.
This year will not be easy for Dartmouth (they are in the top 25 for most difficult schedule) but the team believes they have the pieces in place to reach success in the Ivy. Here are some key returners for the team.
Attack: The best dodger on the unit is Mike Olentine, who had 8 goals and an assist last year. Olentine will improve on these underwhelming stats in 2014, as he is going to be one of the offensive initiators fro Dartmouth and is a capable finisher as well. Doing most of the feeding is junior Adam Hull, who played hurt last year and posted 3 goals and twelve assists. If Hull can stay healthy, he will boost this offense tremendously with his high lacrosse IQ and field vision. Another talented sharpshooter who figures to be the third starter, is Adam Fishman. Last year Fishman tallied 11 goals and 10 assists. Look for Fishman to be the recipient of many goals from the aforementioned hull.
Midfield: Brendan Rotanz, a senior, is the key to this unit. Rotanz is a hard dodger who can play anywhere on the field. Rotanz posted 12 goals and 5 assists last year. Also running with the first midfield this year will be Jake Weil, who has also struggled with injuries. Weil did well when able to play, with 7 goals and an assist last year. Rounding out the unit is KC Beard, a sophomore who will be more developed than he was last year, and will improve his numbers. Beard is a good feeder from up top and will be difficult to defend for opposing defenses. He is also the returning midfielder with the most assists from last year with 8, a trend he can hopefully continue. At SSDM, Patrick Resch will be back for his senior season after missing time with a broken jaw last year. Resch is a physical short-stick defender who will cause a lot of problems for opponents with his ability to win 50/50 ground balls.
LSM: Junior Bobby Osgood had a great year last season for the Big Green, with 63 groundballs and 17 caused turnovers. These impressive numbers are made even more impressive considering they have come against most teams’ #1 midfielder. Osgood is an on-field coach for Dartmouth, being named a captain for the upcoming season.
FOGO: Junior Phil Hession is currently an anomaly in college lacrosse, because he plays offense and defense in addition to facing off. Here are Hession’s stats for 2013: 5 goals, 2 assists, and 129-273 faceoffs, which is 47%. Considering all he contributes to the team, Phil Hession is an invaluable player for Dartmouth. He will take the majority of draws for the team, but could see time elsewhere as well.
Defense: There are many viable options to start at defense for Dartmouth, which is good news for Coach Andy Towers. Senior Eric Clemmensen is the most valuable player to this unit. Clemmensen has started every game of his collegiate career, and is a valuable leader for the defense. Last year he registered 23 ground balls and 22 caused turnovers. Mike Muller, who is the best cover guy on the team, had a nice season last year with 14 ground balls and 5 caused turnovers. While these stats don’t seem all that impressive, Muller’s contribution to the team is very important, as off-ball defense is an essential facet of a successful defensive unit. The third starter will likely be Max Randall, a punishing sophomore long pole who did a nice job when he got in last year.
Goalie: The consensus among the team is that Blair Friedensohn will start this year, his first year as a starter. Ham Sonnenfeld will likely be the second-stringer, as he has some game experience.
For more NCAA D1 Lacrosse coverage, check out Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Preview: Air Force, Albany, Army, Bellarmine, Binghamton, Boston University, Brown, Bryant, Bucknell, Canisius, Colgate and Cornell.