Men's Soccer

Syracuse men’s soccer opponent preview: What to know about Dartmouth

Courtesy of Marcus Snowden

Liam Callahan and Syracuse are trying to make another deep run in the NCAA tournament. Its first matchup comes against Dartmouth at SU Soccer Stadium on Sunday.

UPDATED: Nov. 19 at 4:36 p.m.

In a rematch of last year’s second-round NCAA tournament matchup, No. 8-seed Syracuse (11-3-4, 3-2-3 Atlantic Coast) hosts Dartmouth (9-4-5, 5-1-1 Ivy) Sunday at noon. The Orange comes off a first-round bye while the Big Green defeated St. Francis (Brooklyn), 1-0, in double overtime to advance to the second round.

Here’s what you need to know about Dartmouth before the game.

Last time they played: The Big Green scored first in last season’s NCAA tournament tilt when Justin Donawa slotted home a Matt Greer through ball just before the 30-minute mark. But just over three minutes later, Ben Polk scored his 11th goal of the season for Ian McIntyre’s side. Louis Cross netted the game-winner in the 55th minute to secure the win for SU. The Orange outshot Dartmouth by only one and took five more corner kicks in the victory.

The Dartmouth report: The two sides have one common opponent from the regular season in Hartford, who lost to Syracuse, 2-0, and beat Dartmouth, 1-0. The Big Green finished tied for first in the Ivy League with Columbia but earned the conference’s lone NCAA tournament berth thanks to a win over the Lions in the regular season. There is no Ivy League tournament.

Nine players have scored for Dartmouth this season, compared to Syracuse’s 11. Noah Paravicini and Matt Danilack are tied for the team lead, with four goals apiece. Senior goalkeeper James Hickok has started 16 of Dartmouth’s 18 games, amassing an impressive .60 goals-against average while stopping more than 84 percent of the shots he faces.

How Syracuse beats Dartmouth: The Big Green hasn’t allowed a goal in four games heading into Sunday’s matchup. A Syracuse offense that went through somewhat of a scoring drought during its late-season funk will need an early spark if it doesn’t want to fall behind against Dartmouth again. At the first round of the ACC tournament against Pittsburgh, that spark is most likely to come from team scoring leader Chris Nanco, whose two early tallies against the Panthers gave him six goals on the season. If Nanco can get going early and manufacture a handful of chances on net, the likelihood is at least one beats Hickok to give start the Orange on the right foot.

Stat to know:

385:26 – Time, in hours and minutes, since Dartmouth last allowed a goal, a second-half tally to Harvard on Oct. 29

Player to watch: Matt Danilack, midfielder, No. 18

The junior scored the game-winner in the first round against St. Francis to get the Big Green to SU Soccer Stadium. He leads the team with 13 points on four goals and a team-high five assists. Danilack has two goals and two assists in Dartmouth’s last four games, including a goal in each of the Big Green’s last two contests. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound midfielder will pose a physical challenge to SU’s smaller central midfielders in Jonathan Hagman and Sergio Camargo. The latter two will have to establish the middle of the field early on against the junior.

CLARIFICATION: In a previous version of this article, the game start time was reported as 2 p.m. The game time has since been changed due to weather concerns and the article has been updated accordingly.

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