While most eyes will be transfixed on this week’s homecoming football game against Harvard, the Cornell women’s soccer team should provide an equally entertaining performance against the Crimson women tomorrow. Scalding-hot 11th-ranked Harvard comes to East Hill riding a six game winning streak, while Cornell tries to find solid footing, having lost its last three outings.
Harvard will look to get ahead early in the contest. The Crimson has jumped out with leads in virtually all of its contests. It has scored seven first half goals this season and has surrendered one. Furthermore, Harvard has taken almost three times as many shots (59 to 23) as its opponents.
Senior captain Caitlin Costello heads the Harvard attack with a team-leading five goals and 11 points on the year. The Red defenders must keep a close eye on the forward, as she rarely fails to score when the chance presents itself, evidenced by her astounding 31.2 shot-percentage.
Paired with Costello in the Crimson frontline is junior forward Joey Yenne. Yenne, a first team All-Ivy selection last season, is second on the team in goals (3) and points (9), and leads the team in assists (3). Junior forward Beth Totman is the final member of the lethal triumvirate, having netted two goals and dishing out three assists this season.
Harvard features one of the best keepers in the league in the form of junior Cheryl Gunther. The former Ivy League Rookie of the Year has impressed this season. She holds a minuscule 0.91 goals against average, has made 34 saves, and has already notched three shutouts.
Luckily for the Red, it has at least reoriented itself with scoring. After being shutout for 332 minutes, Cornell scored twice within a 29 second span in Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to Army. Junior co-captain Sarah Olsen has been the only consistent source of offense for the lady booters, leading the team with three goals. No other player on the roster has multiple tallies.
The offense’s inconsistency seems to be wearing on the entire team. Granted, Cornell has played tougher competition these past few games, but the squad has allowed seven goals in the past three contests, including three goals in its latest loss to Army. This has been a dramatic departure from the tight defense the Red played early in the year, when it allowed just three goals in five games.
Cornell coach Berhane Andeberhan noted after the Army game that the soft goals his team allowed are “maddening” and “look careless.”
Senior defender Ellen Daly cited a lack of concentration as a source of recent problems.
“We have to keep our concentration for the full ninety minutes,” she said. “We have a tendency to let down, and that’s what we did against Army.”
When facing a top team such as Harvard the Lady Booters must focus for the duration of the match. After all, the Crimson is no ordinary opponent.
“Every year, they are one of the top teams,” Daly said. “We’re a little more anxious when we play [them].”
The necessary ingredients for an upset are clear. The Red must avoid the mental lapses that have plagued it recently. Furthermore, somebody besides Olsen must step up and get on the scoresheet.
Game time is set for 1:00 p.m. on Berman Field.
Archived article by Alex Ip