For the women’s lacrosse team, vindication for last season’s opening-round loss in the NCAA tournament began under the warm California sun and 70-degree weather. The No. 12 Red opened its 2002 season Saturday afternoon with a 20-6 drubbing of Stanford. Cornell (1-0, 0-0 Ivy) improved its all-time record against the Cardinal (2-2, 2-0 MPLL) to a sparkling 4-0 with the win.
“Ultimately, we played fairly well, and that was important,” said head coach Jenny Graap ’86.
The Red featured a balanced offensive attack, as eight different players accounted for the 20 Cornell goals. Leading the charge was senior midfielder Beth Calder, who scored three goals and also notched three assists — a game high. Her six points were also a career best.
“For her to [score six points] on the attacking end is a real testament to her ability,” lauded Graap, “she scored quite a few off of fast break situations, Cornell also benefited from five points apiece from senior midfielder Jamiee Reynolds and junior attacker Sarah Averson. Sophomore Jamie Quinn added three goals in the win.
“It was a good team effort,” remarked Calder.
Cornell started slowly, allowing Stanford’s Nina Pantano to score the game’s first goal at 2:30 in the first half. The goal was a bit of an oddity, as it trickled past goalie Carrie Giancola into the net after she had already made a save on the shot.
“It wasn’t well-earned,” said Graap, “it was a source of frustration for us to let that goal in.”
The Red responded with four straight goals and closed the half with an 11-4 lead.
“It was…like a wakeup call,” commented Calder on the first half of play.
“We were lucky that Stanford wasn’t a more dominant team, because if you open up like that, the game can get away from you quickly,” added Graap.
The Red defense returned to form in the second half, during which the Cardinal was only able to garner two goals.
“Carrie was on the mark for us quite a bit and made some really outstanding saves,” commented Graap.
In between the two Stanford scores, Cornell reeled off nine straight goals to extend its lead to a game high 20-5 before yielding a final goal with just under two minutes remaining in the game.
“We were pretty much on a roll,” commented Calder.
Another bright spot for the Red was the performance of freshman midfielder Kristen Smith, who scored two goals coming off the bench in her Cornell debut.
“To score two goals in her collegiate opener is pretty impressive,” said Graap, “that has to feel good for her.”
The Red returns to action next Saturday against Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights lost a tough 9-8 game to Virginia Tech this weekend and will hope to rebound at home next weekend.
Archived article by Owen Bochner