Josh Renaud / The Dartmouth
"Obviously, it is a huge win, having lost three in a row," captain Colin Skelly '14 said. "It feels great to get on track with more Ivy League teams coming up."
James Hickok '17 continued to excel in his first season, getting his third shutout and leading the Ivy League in save percentage at 87.5 percent. Dartmouth improved on its possession and allowed the Raiders just eight shots, three of which Hickok had to save.
"Defending [led to the shutout]: not just the back four, but also the midfielders and the forwards," Skelly said. "Everyone is an attacker and everyone is a defender on the field."
The first half began slowly, with the first scoring opportunity coming for Colgate in the seventh minute, when the Raiders broke through the defense. Trading yellow cards over the next few minutes, both teams took wide shots and corner kicks but were unable to muster any quality opportunities.
After the 31st minute, Colgate took a shot on goal, leading to Alex Marsh '17 getting a header on the Raiders after a Hickok save. The final shot that forced Hickok to make a save was in the 37th minute, but after that point, Dartmouth locked down on defense.
"James didn't even have to make a save in the second half," head coach Chad Riley said. "I think we just took care of them all better, and played with a little more aggression in the final third of the field."
After halftime, the Big Green came out with a better offensive strategy and pushed to break the tie. Just four and a half minutes in, Emmanuel Arteaga '17 took a shot, followed by Stefan Defregger '15 only a minute later.
"I was very happy with our performance," Skelly said. "I feel like we could have put them away [with another goal]."
In the 62nd minute, Defregger forced a save from the Colgate keeper, and the ball bounced off his hands to Defregger, who took another header, but it sailed high. The Raiders responded seconds later, but the shot went wide. A minute later Ricardo Gomez '17 headed another ball on goal, forcing a save.
"We were moving the ball and connecting those first passes and getting down the field," Gabe Stauber '15 said. "Everyone in the midfield was able to get on the same page, and we were being a little more patient."
Only a second into the 72nd minute, the Big Green broke through with a goal from Colin Heffron '15. Defregger got the ball to Heffron who put it past the keeper with a low shot to the far post.
"Overall, there was a real focus and determination with the team last night," Riley said.
Colgate began substituting players, desperately trying to get fresh legs on the field to break through the defensive line, but Dartmouth's midfield possession and defensive dominance continued through the second half, with Colgate making just one final shot in the 88th minute, which went helplessly high.
"I think the first step whenever you drop a couple games is that you have to stop giving up goals," Riley said. "We have to get back to what was making us successful."
Dartmouth will return to Burnham Field on Saturday, hosting Columbia University as both try for an Ivy win.
"We just have to keep the momentum going into this next game and keep performing like we did and keep on improving," Stauber said. "We are at a good stage right now because we played well, but we can easily fall back into that slump."