Tonight’s game marks the fourth annual October match-up against Syracuse (6-5) for the field hockey team (7-2), which is looking to extend its six-game winning streak, starting at 7 p.m. on Schoellkopf field.
The similarities are eerily familiar to those of past games. Just 363 days ago, the field hockey team played then No. 19 Syracuse in what was billed as a close match-up. In the 2000 season, Cornell came into the contest sporting a five-game win streak, and a 3-0 Ivy League record. The Red lost both match-ups, continuing a trend that started in 1984.
Last season’s competition was a step in the right direction. Cornell held the lead for most of the game as then sophomore attack, Carissa Mirasol scored twice. In the second half, Syracuse’s Kristin Aranowicz came back to score her second, and tying goal. The two teams went to overtime, where Aranowicz downed the Red by notching her third on the night.
That was then, this is now.
Aranowicz, who missed two games last month due to a finger injury, has been quiet offensively. She has totaled two goals and one assist for five points this year.
Mirasol, on the other hand, has played an active role in the Red offense by pushing the ball down the field, tallying one goal and five assists on the season. Her efforts from this weekend have assured her fourth place among Cornell’s all-time assist leaders.
The Red has been steadily improving elements of its play, highlighted by various defensive, offensive and transitional efforts throughout the season. The only thing that is suffering as of late is the team’s ability to convert penalty corners into points while on the road. Still, all the kinks appeared ironed out as the Red practiced on home turf yesterday afternoon.
As a whole, Cornell has been slightly more productive than Syracuse. The Red has produced 22 goals this season, and has collectively stopped 102 shots in nine games. Syracuse has played 11 games so far, from which it has walked away with 14 goals, and 104 stopped shots. While some may attribute this difference to Syracuse’s Big East foes, the Orangewomen have played just two conference games. Only one of those contests counted towards the team’s five losses.
Breaking the numbers down further, both teams seem even defensively. Junior goaltender Kaitlin Tierney is running a 1.27 goals against average, while Syracuse’s Audrey Latsko has a 1.33 GAA.
Both teams have great depth offensively, as many younger players have come up big in key moments throughout the season. Cornell attack Stephanie Maher, and Syracuse attack Lindsay Peirson have scored three goals apiece for their respective teams. Both are also sophomores.
One place where the teams seem unevenly matched is the momentum category. Cornell, riding a six-game winning-streak, is looking not only to extend it to seven, but also to crack into the national rankings.
“We have home field advantage, and that will work in our favor,” said head coach Michelle Tambroni. “Especially for our offensive corners.”
The team worked for over 45 minutes on corners yesterday. Players also spent a similar amount of time watching film.
Last time Cornell played a nationally ranked opponent was during September. Playing at home, the team held then No. 19 Kent State to a lone, late goal in the second half. Kent State has since moved onto the tenth poll position; while Cornell has gone on to win its last seven games.
When asked if her team was prepared for its second ranked opponent, Tambroni responded confidently.
“They are ready for the challenge – they want the challenge.”
Archived article by Matt Janiga