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Men’s Preview: All attention on Ivy League

Article Written by J.R. Eskilson
Published: October 20, 2016

The Ivy League has a special place in men’s Division I soccer. The perennial scholarly powerhouses rarely gain the national attention that many of the other conferences around college soccer receive, but the league has been consistent in producing quality teams for the postseason tournament as well as players for the professional level. 

This weekend, the Ivy League is in the spotlight for the games to watch. On Saturday, Columbia (8-2-1, 2-0-1) hosts Dartmouth (4-3-5, 2-0-1) in a battle for first place. Harvard (7-3-2, 2-0-1) is also tied for first place with seven points. Harvard takes on Princeton (6-6-1, 0-2-1) this weekend in the other game to watch from the Ivy League.

Columbia against Dartmouth is the marquee game because both of those programs are in the race for at-large spots in the NCAA Tournament as well. Dartmouth enters the weekend at No. 27 in the RPI, which the NCAA selection committee heavily relies on when awarding at-large berths. Columbia is at No. 36 in the RPI. 

Dartmouth had a rocky start to the season with only one win from the first eight games. However, the Big Green took on a very challenging schedule through that period, which helped the RPI. Recently, Dartmouth has been much better with three wins from the last four games. Junior defender Wyatt Omsberg is the one to watch for Dartmouth. He has started every game this season and leads a pretty impressive defensive group. The problem for Dartmouth has been on the attacking side of things. Dartmouth has only score more than one goal in a game three times this season. The Big Green needs a more consistent threat in the attack in order to win the competitive Ivy League this season. 

Columbia’s attack has only been slightly better. The Lions have scored more than one goal in five games this season. They’ve only eclipsed two goals in a game once. Forward Arthur Bosa has done much of the heavy lifting with four goals and three assists on the campaign. Freshman standout Vana Markarian has been terrific lately, and is one to watch on Saturday. 

Games to Watch

Columbia (8-2-1, 2-0-1) vs. Dartmouth (4-3-5, 2-0-1), Saturday, Oct. 22, 7:30 p.m. (ET), ILDN

Princeton (6-6-1, 0-2-1) vs. Harvard (7-3-2, 2-0-1), Saturday, Oct. 22, 4 p.m. (ET), ILDN

Akron (7-4-2, 2-0) vs. West Virginia (6-5-1, 0-2), Saturday, Oct. 22, 7:30 p.m. (ET)

No. 1 Maryland (12-0-2) vs. Hofstra (8-5-1), Friday, Oct. 21, 7:30 p.m. (ET), BTN Plus 

No. 4 Clemson (9-2-3, 3-1-2) vs. No. 9 Syracuse (10-3-1, 3-2-1), Friday Oct. 21, 7 p.m. (ET), ESPNU

UC Santa Barbara (8-5-2, 4-0-2) vs. Cal Poly (3-8-2, 1-4-1), Saturday, Oct. 22, 8 p.m. (PT), Fox Sports Prime Ticket 

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