Another great update here from OldSage. Here's to Men's Soccer continuing the march towards #107 @ Drake this afternoon (5 PM) (Ty)
Experience versus youth seems to be the theme for this game! The Big Green of Dartmouth typically start 10 upperclassmen (7 seniors and 3 juniors) and the soccer pundits seem to think Dartmouth's experience and maturity will be the deciding factor. But the Bruin youthfulness hasn't been an issue thus far this season. Consider Cal's starting XI has a similar make-up and the Bruins were a goal away from sweeping the Golden Bears in conference play.
The set up: Dartmouth has won six straight with NCAA upset results over Monmouth (4 - 0) and 9th-seeded Notre Dame (2 -1). The 8th-seeded Bruins have won five straight with their last loss a 0 - 1 heartbreaker vs. Cal. Clearly, both teams have momentum coming into Sunday's 5 p.m. match at Drake Stadium.
Read more pre-game notes after the jump:
Both of these teams like their free-flowing play. They like to combine players from all over the field into the attack and create problems for defenses. UCLA found much of their success in the second round after Sacramento State started to show some fatigue in their legs. Dartmouth, while playing an extra game, won’t have that problem. First, they have a week off in between games. Second, they are a veteran-laden team that should be able to handle the Bruins off-the-ball movement.
UCLA’s youthfulness is hard to overlook. The Bruins started four freshman in the second round clash including two in their back four. It will be interesting to see how the duo handle the runs and ball-movement of the Ivy League visitors.
UCLA’s offense is probably too dynamic for Dartmouth to shut out. Dartmouth are too savvy for the Bruins to keep off the score sheet. This one is likely headed to penalty kicks.
UCLA 1-1 Dartmouth. Dartmouth wins in PKs.
What's uncanny about these two teams is both defenses have been very stingy as of late with the Big Green only allowing but a single goal in their last four matches, and the Bruins giving up two, both in garbage time in the same stretch. However that being said, the Bruins will need a better offensive start to the match than they had vs. Sac State to take some early pressure off the young Bruin defenders. Rather than start slow, I'm hoping the Bruins attack early and finish in an effort to dictate the pace of the game and get on the board to force Dartmouth to chase. But it won't be easy as Senior goalkeeper Lyman Missimer had 12 saves for the Big Green versus Notre Dame.
As it has been all season long, something tells me there may just be an unlikely Bruin hero. Who that might be, you will just have to come to Drake Stadium to find out!
Kick-off is on Sunday at 5 p.m. over at Marshall Field at Drake Stadium!
On a side note, incidentally and something worth mentioning, the 15 win total earned after the Sac State match was the highest win total in the Coach Jorge Salcedo era.