The Cornell women’s soccer team played to another disappointing 1-1 tie yesterday at Berman Field against Stony Brook University. The game went to two overtimes, with both teams missing many chances to close the contest out.
The first half of play was largely dominated by a patient possession game executed by the Red on both sides of the field. Ball control and opportunistic attacking created many opportunities for Cornell’s front line.
However, the first half would be a sign of things to come for the booters as none of the opportunities translated into goals.
“We dominated the entire game,” commented senior forward Erica Olson. “Our problem was finishing — we just couldn’t put the ball away.”
The one time the Red did execute was off Olson’s foot 5:32 into the second half. She took a ball from junior Caitlin Rice from ten yards out and sent it into the upper right hand corner of the goal. It was Olson’s first goal of the year and Rice’s third assist.
After Olson’s goal, the flow of play steadily turned in the Seawolves’ favor, as the Red seemed to lose its hold on the possession game.
A few more missed opportunities saw a frustrated Red squad begin to lessen its attack and eventually Stony Brook was able to capitalize on Cornell’s complacency.
With only 3:29 left in regulation, Stony Brook sophomore Brittany Norwood sent a cross into the box which junior Krisha Zagura was able to put away to tie the game at a goal apiece.
The overtime was no better for a weary Red squad that has gone the full 120 minutes in its last two games. A few unlucky bounces and a handful of quality defensive stops for the Seawolves produced another tie for the Red and a resulting 2-1-2 overall record on the year.
The story in regulation for the Red was the distinct improvement in its offensive pressure on its opponent’s side of the field. However, in the overtime periods, the story shifted to Cornell’s strength in the backfield and the brilliant play of impact freshman Katie Thomas in goal.
“I had a lot of fun being tested like that,” said Thomas after her 17-save effort (a career high). “[Stony Brook] gave me a challenge and I was able to play up to it.”
Thomas, who hails from Northridge, Calif., was also quick to tout the defensive effort displayed by the Red in the extra sessions.
“I love playing behind our defense,” she said. “It was not out of lack of effort that we only got a tie out of this game. Sometimes things happen that you just can’t control.”
Although the tie was less than what Cornell felt it could accomplish in Saturday’s contest, the Red is excited about its upcoming week.
“We’re just going to keep playing our game, with the same mentality and good things will happen,” said Olson of this week’s games against Binghamton and Penn.
The Red is now at a point in its season where this week’s results can turn the tables one way or the other in the long-run.
But Thomas, who will be counted upon heavily in the coming days, remains optimistic.
“We’re all ready to get over the frustration of these last two ties,” she assured. “We just need to finish [the games] off and win.”
Seems like a simple formula, but somehow this team is starting to make a turnaround from last year’s letdown a very simple process of consistent effort and team togetherness.
The Red takes its hunger for another win to Binghamton on Wednesday for a four o’clock match-up against another in-state rival.
Archived article by Scott Jones