It was a milestone weekend for the Cornell field hockey team, as it improved its record to 3-1 (1-0, Ivy League). In just the second week of the season, the Red matched its win total of 2004 and set a single-game scoring record with a nine-goal offensive outburst against St. Francis (Pa.). On Saturday, the Red opened up its Ivy League schedule with a victory against Columbia, shutting out the Lions by a score of 3-0. Riding its momentum from the day before, the Red followed its performance with a 9-1 victory against St. Francis on Sunday, in which nine different players scored.
“We wanted to show that we could play two good games in a row,” said head coach Donna Hornibrook. “This team has an unnatural sense of confidence for a team this young.”
Against Columbia, sophomore goalkeeper Lizzie Goldblatt spearheaded a defensive effort that allowed just six shots on the day. Goldblatt made three saves in goal on the way to recording her first collegiate shutout.
Less than five minutes into the game, freshman Alyssa DePaola stole the ball in front of the Columbia net and scored unassisted. The goal was the first of the season for DePaola and put the Red in the lead for good. The score would remain the same throughout the rest of the first half and into the second, when freshman Belen Martinez added an insurance goal. Following a penalty corner, senior co-captains Blair Corcoran and Natalie Serle set up Martinez, who put it into the back of the net. With 12 minutes left in the game, DePaola’s second goal of the day rounded out the scoring.
“Particularly against Columbia, we saw how a well-prepared game plan can go a long way against a good team,” said assistant coach Beth Walkenbach. “It really gives us confidence in our system for the rest of the season.”
With the win, the Red matched both its Ivy League win total and its total number of shutouts last season.
The nine-goal performance on Sunday eclipsed the previous team record of eight which had been achieved twice before – against Wells in 1977 and against Bucknell in 1996. The eight-goal margin of victory tied the team record set against Wells in 1977, in which the Red won 8-0.
For the Red, it was a total team effort against St. Francis. On the offensive side of the ball, the Red were nothing short of dominant – outshooting the Red Flash 28-3 and holding the edge on penalty corners, 17-3.
On the defensive side, freshman goalkeeper Shannon Prescott greatly benefited from a defensive effort that stymied St. Francis. Prescott made one save and picked up her first collegiate win in her first start.
Cornell opened up the scoring at the 7:02 mark, as DePaola picked up her third goal of the weekend. From that point on, the team went on a scoring barrage, as junior Lindsay Moyer, sophomore Kelly Fitzpatrick and freshmen Abbi Horn and Katlyn Donoghue all scored to send the team into halftime up 5-0.
In the second half, St. Francis would score its only goal, six minutes in.
It was all Cornell the rest of the way, as sophomore Katie Brandshaw, Corcoran and Martinez would score before freshman Janelle Richard put in the record-setting goal ninth goal with just nine seconds left in the contest.
Corcoran, Moyer and DePaola would end the day with both a goal and an assist and Serle would add two assists – as 13 different players registered points on the day.
“[This weekend] the midfield played its best defensive games of the season. Any goal scoring we get will come from the push from our backs,” Hornibrook said. “So, ultimately, what I’m most impressed with is the total team effort.”
Archived article by Jon Hausner
Sun Staff Writer