No. 7 Dartmouth made use of an 8-3 first-half lead — and an entire game of strong goalkeeping — to defeat the No. 13 women’s lacrosse team, 13-8, in Hanover, N.H., on Saturday.
After the tough first half, Cornell (4-5, 1-2 Ivy) attempted a late-game comeback, outshooting the Green, 16-7, after halftime. However, Dartmouth was helped by an excellent performance from All-American goalie Devon Wills, and good shooting from its attack. Wills had nine saves after halftime, and the Green offense was able to match all of Cornell’s goals in the 5-5 second half. Wills had 11 saves on the day.
“They have a really athletic, fast-paced team,” said senior Kristen Smith. “They really came out fast and strong. They were winning the draw controls initially — which gave them the momentum — and they would take it down and execute quickly.”
Dartmouth (9-0, 4-0 Ivy) netted the first four goals of the game, with 2004 second team All-Ivy honoree Katieanne Christian scoring twice during the run. Christian leads the Green with 31 goals.
“[Dartmouth is] an excellent team, and they came out connecting well in the early part of the game,” said Cornell head coach Jenny Graap ’86. “It took Cornell a little bit of time to get composed, start battling back, and win some draw controls.”
Cornell got on the board with about 15 minutes remaining in the half, when freshman Katherine Simmons scored her first goal of the game. Dartmouth answered less than two minutes later, making the score 5-1. Junior Allison Schindler found the net for Cornell, earning her ninth goal of the year. Dartmouth added another goal with 10 minutes remaining in the half. Cornell freshman Charlotte Schmidlapp would then score moments later, off an assist from Schindler, who leads the team with nine assists this year.
However, Dartmouth finished the half with two goals, and the Green went into the break with a commanding 8-3 lead.
Graap noted that Cornell had difficulty in its transition game and turnovers in the first half. “Our offense just didn’t have a ton of opportunities because of [the] number of turnovers that were being committed,” Graap said.
Dartmouth opened the second half with a goal, when Jen Pittman found the net less a minute into the half. Smith put another tally on the board for the Red with 23 minutes remaining, but Dartmouth responded to go up, 10-4. The back and forth scoring continued as Cornell freshman Amanda Linnertz found the back of the net less than a minute later, only to have Dartmouth respond at the other end of the field.
With 20 minutes remaining, Simmons notched her second goal of the day. Smith also found the net, making the score 11-7 with her team-leading 19th goal of the season.
Dartmouth would then score with 13 minutes remaining, increasing its lead to 12-7. Smith found the net at 11:32 to earn a hat trick, but it proved to be Cornell’s final goal of the day. Dartmouth scored one last time with under seven minutes remaining, making the final score 13-8.
“Though it felt like we were playing better [in the second half], Dartmouth still managed to score,” Graap said. “On this particular day, Dartmouth was really exceptional.”
The game was Cornell’s third consecutive loss against a ranked team. Last Saturday, the Red lost, 9-8, to No. 3 Princeton in three overtimes. On Tuesday, Cornell lost at No. 17 Syracuse, also by a score of 9-8.
Graap noted that Cornell’s difficult schedule may have helped the young team learn about competing at the highest level of college lacrosse.
“I think we need to continue to learn, and continue to improve,” she said. “There’s plenty of lacrosse left to play. We need to bear down, and stay positive.”
The Red will next be in action on Friday, when the team welcomes Brown to Ithaca. On Sunday, Cornell will meet Columbia in New York City.
Archived article by Ted Nyman
Sun Staff Writer