On Saturday night, the Garnet men came out to prove themselves to be the team to beat in the Centennial Conference, after a strong win against favorite Johns Hopkins last week. Last season, Dickinson defeated the Garnet in a close 1-0, winning on overtime penalty kick. This year the Garnet came in as the favorites and defeated Dickinson 3-1, now ranking 5th in the nation and 1st in the NSCAA Mid-Atlantic region.
Both sides started off with intensity and speed and soon enough, the game quickly become physical. A questionable fall by Dickinson player led to an early yellow card for Kieran Reichert ’13 of the Garnet. The Swarthmore offense, lead by Morgan Langley ’11, the NCAA Division III leader in assists and assist-per-game, and a strong midfield lead an early goal in 20th minute. Freshman Noah Sterngold sent in a cross to far post for Fabian Castro ’12 to finish past the Dickinson goalkeeper. The Garnet continued to possess and control the offense for the rest of the half, out shooting the Red Devils 7-3 and winning the half’s only corner.
For the second half, Dickinson came out hungry for a goal and only 5 minutes into the half game, a free kick gave them their chance. A long ball played in the box was grabbed by Swarthmore keeper David D’Annunzio ’12 but a Dickinson striker Thomas Parkinson was there to knock the ball in. The goal appeared questionable and the officials hesitated but ultimately awarded Parkinson—who appeared to kick ball out of D’Annunzio’s grasp—the goal. The crowd voiced its disapproval but after the game, D’Annunzio himself said, “It was a close call that could have gone either way.”
The contested goal ignited the Garnet offense, who continued to outshoot the Red Devils in the half, 11 to 5. The Garnet forced Dickinson goalie Cody Hickok to make several saves and was denied 2 goals off the post. Dickinson altered its formation and line-up in an attempt to beat the Swarthmore defense but continued to struggle to beat the Garnet backline. Dickinson was only able to force D’Annunzio to make one save in the 2nd half, the game’s only save for the goalkeeper.
The Swarthmore goal came late, after Langley’s assist in the 87th minute set up a shot for David Sterngold ’12, who buried the ball in the upper right corner. Langley’s pass split the defense and made him the all time Garnet soccer assist leader, a record he is poised to raise with only 8 games into the season. The Garnet continued their offense momentum as captain Micah Rose ’12 played a long ball behind the defense to a breaking Langely, who cruised passed the Dickinson keeper and scored in the 89th minute. Overall, the Garnet scored a victorious 3-1 game against Dickinson.
The Garnet are now 2-0 in conference and 8-0-0 overall. With a likely win against Washington College next week, the team is poised to contend for conference championship. After talking to Goal Keeper D’Annunzio, it is clear that the Garnet is taking their success lightly and see the opportunity for a historical season and even stronger play. D’Annunzio notes, “I think we all know that we can make some history this year, but we have to take each game one at a time.” The Garnet still has half a season to go, but D’Annunzio notes that the team will improve with more games and experience. He states “it says a lot about our team when we aren’t playing our best and are still 8-0-0.” The Garnet’s next home game is Saturday, October 9th against Conference opponent Ursinus at 7 pm.