Dartmouth Falls to Boston College

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On September 23 the men in green trekked to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, to take on a large, well-drilled Boston College squad. Rain threatened as the 1pm kickoff approached, but held off for most of the match.

As the action kicked off the young Dartmouth defense appeared energized and pounded the practiced BC offense in the opening minutes with crushing tackles. Unfortunately, the Big Green were a bit too eager and a string of offside penalties swung the territory battle in BC's favor despite the heavy pressure.

A few minutes later the Golden Eagles struck first when the experienced BC Flyhalf found a seam in the Dartmouth defense touching down under the post, putting BC up 7-0. Dartmouth was not held down for long however as Co-Captain Aziz Sayigh '07 made a decent play on the ensuing kickoff giving Dartmouth positive possession for a team looking to respond. Two rucks later Captain Tom Manzo found Sayigh who engaged the defense with up-field running as he is known to do, then finding a streaking Mike Markelz '07 who took it the rest of the way for a try in the corner. The conversion failed making the mark 7-5 after about 15 minutes of play.

A bevy of penalties prevented the Big Green from finding a rhythm for much of the rest of the half.

The penalty count took its toll eventually as the big BC flanker powered off a ruck on the Dartmouth 1m for a try under the posts. Only minutes later, Dartmouth's efforts were again hampered by silly mistakes as a pass was picked off by the Eagle flyhalf and taken to the house, giving BC a 21-5 lead as the half expired.

Unhappy with the sloppiness of the first half of play the Dartmouth ruggers came out with a chip on their shoulder in the opening pass of the second half, battling back and forth to keep the pressure in BC territory. Each side had their fair share of handling errors that kept the forward packs busy in the scrum for first thirty minutes of the second period. As in the first half, the inexperienced Dartmouth side squandered many scoring opportunities.

The score remained notched at 21-5 until the final five minutes of regulation when the Dartmouth attack put together a nice sequence, moving the ball across the field with relative ease. The Green struck for points as center Dru Heinz '08 side-stepped finding winger Jeff Kolovson '09 who hit Drew Jennings '08 for his 1st XV scoring debut. Kolovson nailed a difficult corner conversion attempt making the score 21-12. Two penalties against a tiring BC side set up Kolovson for a PK attempt from about 35m out, which he nailed to pull Dartmouth to within a score, as injury time began to tick away.

The Big Green fought a frantic finish against a BC squad desperate to see the final seconds tick away and eventually ran out of time with the score 21-15 in BC's favor. The loss was certainly a disappointing one, but the maturing Dartmouth side takes many positives out of the match. \"The guys played tough,\" Head Coach Alex Magleby '00 responded, \"it wasn't always smart rugby, but that is too be expected with the inexperience in the squad. The match will prove to be invaluable for their learning curves. BC was strong, so a good test for us this early in the season. We met many of our success points this week--not all of them to be sure--so we are relatively pleased with their improvements. For the third week in a row we lost an experienced forward leader to a season-ending injury. To have the younger guys fill-in and take the opportunity has been impressive. A few tweaks here and there, and the team is on course, assuming they continue to build from here.\"

The team is determined to improve and will continue to hit the practice pitch hard this week, in preparation for a match on Saturday the 30th with in-state rival, UNH. Details to follow.

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