While the women’s lacrosse team will miss the postseason for the first time in five years, it has the chance to go out on a winning note, as the Red will faceoff against Colgate (13-5, 5-0 Patriot) tomorrow in Hamilton, N.Y. at 1 p.m. With a win tomorrow, Cornell (5-9, 3-4 Ivy) can finish the season having won five of its last six contests. Meanwhile, the Raiders captured their first ever league title and will be playing in the upcoming NCAA tournament for the first time.
“The goal is to have a game where we control our own destiny for 60 minutes. I would personally like to dominate and control and feel that empowerment of really culminating our efforts this year,” said head coach Jenny Graap ’86.
“We’ve been up and down this year. We had a tough start and then we came on strong at the end. I think if we’re really going to feel satisfied with this year, we want to get as many players onto the field as possible.”
Graap hopes to be able to utilize most of her bench, something that she has not been able to do this season. In order to accomplish this, the team’s starters need to take control of the game early on.
On Sunday, the Red closed out its Ivy season with a 10-9 win at Harvard. Cornell’s victory saw eight different players score, while sophomore goalie Maggie Fava made six saves, including a point-blank stop with 40 seconds left in the game.
Fava was named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week after her efforts against No. 14 Syracuse and Harvard. She stopped four shots against Syracuse in the sudden-victory overtime periods, helping the Red get the upset in quadruple overtime.
“I’d like to see Maggie be consistent with her clears and to continue to elevate her game outside of the net with her ground balls and interceptions,” Graap said.
The team’s two seniors, co-captains Jaime Quinn and Kate Hirschfield, look to end their careers on a winning note. The Red swept the weekly league awards, as Quinn was named Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week, scoring five goals in the team’s two games last week.
“I’m expecting consistent leadership [from the seniors] that lets the younger players see by example what they need to do,” Graap said.
The Red’s defense will have another challenge on its hands, as Colgate boasts several prolific scorers. Sophomores Katie McVeigh and Kelly Winning lead the way for the Raiders, with 44 and 36 goals, respectively. McVeigh and Winning were pegged as Patriot League first-team selections along with classmates Heidi Ross and Sue Bielamowicz. Bielamowicz was also named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year after recording an 8.76 GAA and a .564 save percentage.
Graap will be relying on the defensive strategy that the team has been using all year, calling on the team’s best defenders to hold Colgate’s offensive weapons in check with solid marking.
“There’s going to be some individual responsibility to mark those girls, but we’re looking for that total team effort,” Graap said.
The Raiders clinched their first ever trip to the NCAA tournament after knocking off American in double-overtime of the conference tournament finals. The Red can curb Colgate’s momentum heading into the tournament with a solid win tomorrow.
“This game is going to be particularly emotional since it’s Colgate first time ever making the NCAAs. We know what that was like, we got that out of our system in 2001 when for the first time ever, we represented Cornell lacrosse in the women’s NCAA tournament,” Graap said
Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach
Sun Staff Writer