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Dartmouth capped off its fall campaign with an Ivy 7s title Saturday in Princeton, NJ, beating Yale 48-0 in the tournament final. The Big Green's first side went undefeated in the effort, not conceding a single point and amassing at least 35 every game. Dartmouth sent three sides to compete in the two tournament divisions. The Big Green's seconds and thirds both reached the final of the B-side bracket, but opted to share the title instead of play each other in the championship game.
Dartmouth entered the weekend coming off an undefeated fall campaign that saw the Big Green capture its eighth-straight Ivy 15s title. Hoping to add a 7s title to the season’s resume, the team put in two hard weeks of 7s specific training in preparation for the tournament. The traveling squad for the weekend included many freshmen, who after dedicating much time and effort into becoming accustomed to the game, were finally ready to test their skills against Ivy competition.
Dartmouth's first side got its morning off to a fast start, defeating familiar foes Penn and Columbia by scores of 50-0 and 39-0 respectively. The key to the team’s early scoring spurt was its patience with the ball on offense. The Big Green was in no hurry to make contact with the fresh legs of the Penn and Columbia defenders, opting instead to move the ball through the hands from sideline to sideline, waiting for the defensive wall to lose its shape. This strategy proved to be worthwhile, as eventually Dartmouth was able to exploit fractures in its opponents’ defenses, leading to tries by senior captain Madison Hughes and freshman Benji Hannam.
Up next was tournament host Princeton. While Princeton’s defense held the Big Green scoreless in the opening minutes of the match, some hypnotizing sidestepping from sophomore Dawit Workie put the team on the board. Skillful aerial work from Hayden Aldredge allowed the Big Green to gain possession on several restart kicks and lineout throws, allowing for more tries from seniors Peter Savarese and Andrew Berson. In the second half, a squad of reserves led by senior Jake Levine contributed more explosive offense and disciplined defense to end the match in a 35-0 victory.
The Big Green's final match of the day pitted them against a physical Yale side in the A-division championship. The Big Green defense was prepared for an early offensive challenge by Yale, calmly maintaining its shape despite a Yale line break. Juniors Ryan Maguire and Curtis Oberg took advantage of some Yale mishandling, each scooping up turnover balls for first half tries. Another strong offensive showing from Hughes and more impressive jukes from Workie put Dartmouth up going into the half. Again, solid play from key reserve players kept the Yale team off the board and delivered the Big Green to its third straight Ivy 7s title with a commanding 46-0 win.
"At the beginning of the fall, the team had its sights set on retaining the Ivy League trophies we had won the last three years in both 7s and 15s," said Dartmouth captain Madison Hughes. "We knew that the other Ivies were more determined than ever and displaying renewed commitment to challenging us. Therefore, we are delighted to add the Ivy League 7s title to the 15s trophy we won a few weeks ago."
"We are very pleased with our performances and victories at the Ivy 7s for our three teams," added Dartmouth coach Gavin Hickie. "Yesterday's wins were the culmination of hard work put in by the DRFC student athletes since preseason in August."
With the fall season over, Coach Hickie is already shifting the team’s attention to the challenges that lie ahead.
"It is paramount that we continue to develop as a program and we look ahead with anticipation to our spring season, which includes the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup and CRC," Hickey said.
|Pool Play||Brown||12 - 7||Harvard|