Junior midfielder Kara Ishikawa scored Cornell’s first goal of the season Saturday, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the women’s soccer team.
After two scoreless halves against Lafayette, the visiting booters were faced with the possibility of their second consecutive 0-0 tie — or worse. But after six minutes of overtime — and a failed clearance attempt by Lafayette — Ishikawa fired an 18-yard shot over the head of goalkeeper Amy Kalista, giving Cornell (1-0-1) the win.
“The overtime was totally physical. It was just like a battle,” said freshman midfielder Mariye Wick, who had two shots for the day. “[Lafayette] tried to clear it up, and that was when Kara won the ball.”
Ishikawa was playing further up than normal, forming a “triangle” offense – one of head coach Berhane Andeberhan’s new strategic formations. Lafayette had difficulty adjusting to the new look, when it was employed in the later stages of the game.
Andeberhan had also used the setup in last weekend’s draw against Stony Brook, and before this weekend’s game he noted that he would use it again, given the right situation.
Although that creative effort produced some offense in overtime, both Cornell and Lafayette (2-3) were unable to develop much of an attack during regulation. Wick noted that good portions of the game were played “mainly in the midfield,” although she added that the Red did have possession for a significant part of the game, and that the booters were able to move the ball forward.
The Leopards managed only six shots in the first 90 minutes, and the Red had eight. Last week, both Cornell and Stony Brook took fourteen shots, in a game highlighted by excellent goalkeeping. This week, the keepers had less of an opportunity to add to their save tally.
Ishikawa’s golden goal was her second game-winner at Cornell. Last year, she broke a 1-1 tie against Bucknell, with a goal in the 83rd minute of that contest.
Lafayette was coming off a 5-0 demolishing of St. Peter’s, in a game where the Leopards took three times as many shots as their opponents, and dominated possession time. Lafayette had also defeated Mount St. Mary’s 2-1, in a Sept. 4 road match.
But Cornell’s defense was tougher than any Lafayette had met this year, and the home team was unable to find any offensive rhythm. Freshman Caroline Tuttle – the leading scorer for the Leopards – was kept scoreless for the first time this year. Tuttle had scored three goals in her last two games, leading up to Saturday’s match.
Saturday’s game was also the first content of the year for senior goalkeeper Katie Thomas. Thomas had four saves, in the eleventh shutout of her collegiate career.
Cornell will look to remain unbeaten Tuesday night, when the Red welcomes Binghamton to Berman Field in the season’s home opener. The 3-1 Bearcats are coming off a 1-0 win over Lehigh, and the upstate rival will offer Cornell its toughest defensive challenge yet.
Archived article by Ted Nyman
Sun Staff Writer