Coming off of an impressive week in which the Red defeated 2004 Ivy League co-champion Harvard, as well as Bucknell, the field hockey team will look to continue its winning ways this weekend when it faces UMBC (2-9, 0-2) Sunday at Schoelkopf Field.
Cornell (7-4, 4-1 Ivy) is looking for its third consecutive victory on the home stand. As is evident from the past week’s performance, the women have already shown that with a good all-around team effort, they possess the talent and depth to compete with anyone on their schedule.
Last Sunday against Harvard, the Red overcame the intimidation of the defending champs, edging the Crimson, 2-1.
Freshman Mandy Malzberg provided the first goal of the game, as she redirected a pass from senior co-captain Blair Corcoran five minutes into the second half. Although Harvard answered back a minute later with a score off of a penalty corner, Corcoran’s senior leadership took over and she netted a goal of her own with 14 minutes left in the game Sophomore goalie Lizzie Goldblatt, who kept the game scoreless in the first half with two big saves, was able keep the Crimson off the board after that to secure the victory.
The Red did have long to savor the win, however, as it took on Bucknell just two days later. Just as it did against Harvard, the freshman class provided the spark for the offense.
Freshman Alyssa Depaola scored two goals in the first 11 minutes of the game and the Red would never look back. After a quick Bucknell score to pull within one, Malzberg scored an insurance goal in the second half to make the final tally 3-1.
The Red out shot its opponents 27-19 on the week, a statistic which illustrates not only the ruthless aggression of the offense, but also the stingy nature of the Red’s backline.
With the victories, Cornell exceeded its win total from the previous two seasons, as well as guaranteed itself a winning league record for only the third time in school history.
This weekend, the team will face a UMBC team that has struggled thus far this season and is in the midst of rebuilding their program – having lost nine of their eleven games.
However, both of those wins occurred on the road, including a 9-3 trouncing of Robert Morris a week ago. It is for this reason that Cornell head coach Donna Hornibrook is determined to not let her team lose focus.
“We have not been the most consistent team this year so we would be naïve to underestimate a team like UMBC,” Hornibrook said. “We are going to need a good all-around team effort – similar to what we displayed the past two games – in order to come away with a win.”
Hornibrook is most concerned with slowing down the Retrievers’ aggressive forward attack, which is led by speedy freshman Paige Hartman.
Hartman leads the team in goals (6) and points (13) on the season, and took home the America East Field Hockey Rookie of the Week award for her four-goal, eight-point outburst against Robert Morris.
UMBC will look to push up both their sweeper and their midfielders throughout the game and put constant pressure on the Red defense.
However, they will find it a difficult task to get it past Goldblatt, who has accumulated 46 saves to go along with a 1.33 goals against average in nine starts on the year.
Furthermore, Hornibrook has stressed ball control to counter UMBC’s aggression, particularly from the talented freshman trio of DePaola, Belen Martinez and Brenna Gulotta – all of who have earned Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors so far this season.
“It has been a true team effort the whole year – someone has always managed to step up when it mattered, so I will look for that trend to continue this weekend,” Hornibrook said.
Archived article by Lance Williams
Sun Staff Writer