Another Reason to Cheer Tomorrow

Lyman Missimer boots it downfield in an early season game against UNH. (Photo courtesy of Dartmouth Sports, Gil Talbot)As if you needed one for the men’s soccer team, which faces off tomorrow in Los Angeles against UCLA in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen, after two big playoff wins against Monmouth and 9th-seeded Notre Dame last week. 

ESPN’s Michelle Voepel yesterday chronicled the rise of goalkeeper Lyman Missimer IV ’11, whose emergence this year as the Indians’ starting goalie — and clutch performer — has been anything but expected. True, Missimer, who hails from the Houston area, has it in his blood. (His father, Lyman Missimer III ’79, was a star keeper during his own time at the College, going all-Ivy for three consecutive years.) But it took Lyman IV a little longer for the star to emerge. For two years, he played second-fiddle to Sean Milligan ’09; last year, Missimer was forced to watch from the sidelines as freshman Sean Donovan ’13 took the starting position. Then, at the beginning of this season, just as he was beginning to get some starting time, Missimer was concussed during an October 6th game at Vermont. 

Yet none of it has held him back. Returning to the goal for Dartmouth’s game at Columbia in mid-October, Missimer has maximized his time on the field. Particularly impressive was a midseason homecoming performance against Harvard, with Missimer holding the Crimson to a single goal while pulling off two tough saves. He also ensured shutouts against Cornell and #14 Brown (the only other Ivy still in the NCAA tournament), where he pulled off four saves. And his performance against Notre Dame last week (12 saves, 1 goal allowed) left no doubt about the place he deserves on the squad. He’s incredibly modest about all the attention, but it’s clear that Lyman’s comeback is on track to be the sounding note of this team’s remarkable season.

Now, he and the rest of the Indians face their biggest challenge yet in their 8 pm EST game tomorrow against #8 UCLA. With a little luck, and an impressive performance like we saw at Notre Dame, the Indians may see their season stretch out still a little further.

Charles Dameron