With a 7-9 record, a terrible mid-season slump, and a roster that saw nine underclassmen starting, the 2001 field hockey season can be described in one word — mediocre. Still, out of the ashes of last season comes a team which has hopes of bringing home an Ivy League title.
While two time All-Ivy selection Ashleigh Snelson ’02, has left the East Hill, head coach Michelle Tambroni can look for some new offensive standouts this year. Leading the Cornell attack will be juniors Lyndsay Grace and Carissa Mirasol. Combined, the two were able to produce 23 points last year.
“They have developed a huge amount of chemistry,” said Tambroni.
The difference between seasons is evident. Mirasol, though not scoring as often as last season, has been essential in getting the ball downfield this season. Just five games deep, she already has five assists and one goal. Looking past the stats and onto the field, her dominant style of play has helped the Red climb out of more than one hole.
With two goals on the season, Grace, the other half of the Cornell attack, has been equally productive. She has proven herself to be an effective playmaker, as evidenced when she assisted on senior Annie O’Rourke’s goal in a 4-1 victory over Stanford.
The upperclassman presence is also an attribute to the midfield this year. Led by senior captain Sarah Nordstrom, the Red has been able to keep most opponents from leaving their own end. Nordstrom was an Academic All-Ivy selection during the 2001 season, tallying four assists on the campaign.
Junior Karleigh Burns will start alongside Nordstrom. During the 2001 campaign, Burns was fourth on the team with 11 points, including three goals and five assists.
Thus far into the season, Burns and Nordstrom have also been able to break up plays and turn them around for scoring opportunities. The two have already generated six points in five games.
Rounding out Cornell’s package is the defense. Possesing skill and speed, senior back Sarah Rosenbaum has broken up critical plays in the past five games.
Last season, Rosenbaum was the team’s third leading scorer, scoring five goals and totaling 12 points. Of her five goals, three came in a hat-trick effort against Albany.
Also playing key roles will be junior Kimmy Gardner and sophomore standout Stephanie Maher. Gardner tallied three goals and nine points last season, including game-winning goals against Ivy rivals Yale and Columbia.
Maher, who was voted the team’s most promising rookie last season, saw action in 15 games, but will be looked upon to provide stability in the back this season.
Between the pipes for Cornell is junior Katilin Tierney. She has been solid thus far into the season, making 45 saves over 348 minutes.
Last season, Tierney played in every minute of every Cornell game, posting a 2.22 goals-against-average. Her 135 saves ranked her 19th in the nation.
Perhaps the best weapon Cornell has yet to unleash is its strong bench. O’Rourke, along with sophomore attacker Sara Weiner, has logged valuable minutes off the bench. Freshman midfielder Natalie Serle has also contributed in three of the contests, while the rest of the class of 2006 has yet to be tapped.
“This is the most depth this program has ever had,” said Tambroni.
Most on the team worked on vital skills during the offseason. In the case of sophomore Danielle Dunn, the work on her shooting has already paid off. Dunn notched one goal on the season in the contest against Penn.
With another year of experience, the 2002 edition of the Red will be a force in the Ivy League.
Archived article by Matt Janiga