February 13, 2006
The women’s basketball team (7-14, 4-4 Ivy) entered last weekend’s home stand with two tests – a difficult match-up with the Ancient Eight’s second-place squad, Brown, and a much easier contest against Yale.
In the first game, Cornell came up just short of beating Brown (13-8, 7-1), falling 71-68. The team bounced back the next night, however, handily defeating last-place Yale (2-19, 1-7) by a score of 79-68 behind career performances from rookie Jeomi Maduka and sophomore Lindsay Krasna.
“It would have been nice to get the Brown win,” Krasna said. “We were going into the game expecting to win.”
The Red had to play both contests without the services of two of its regular starters, junior Claire Perry and freshman Kayleen Fitzsimmons. Both are out indefinitely due to concussions. Perry sustained her injury in last week’s action and Fitzsimmons suffered her ailment in practice last week.
Fitzsimmons – the team’s point guard – was replaced by senior Hillary Seidel in the starting lineup, while senior Sarah Brown broke into the starting-five for Perry. Although the two were making their first starts of the year, both players brought needed experience to the Ivy League’s youngest team as it faced a Brown squad looking to win the Ancient Eight title for the first time since 1994.
In a game that had nine lead changes, the Red came back from a 10-point deficit to take a two-point lead halfway through the second frame. But the Red allowed a late 7-1 run by the Bears, and despite getting two shots at the game-tying field-goal, it missed both attempts. The Red’s shot at the buzzer went off the front of the rim to the disappointment of both the home team and its fans.
“I think it was a good effort by the team. It should never have come down to what it came down to,” said Maduka, who led Cornell with 19 points and 10 rebounds, her eighth career double-double. “We had the momentum the whole time.”
Maduka was upset that she only went one-of-two from the free throw line in the closing minutes, missing a point that she felt could have swung the outcome of the game. But Krasna disagreed that only one play was to blame for the loss.
“I thought we put up a good fight,” Krasna said. “I think we struggled a little bit on [defense]. They really shot the lights out. It always seems like teams do that to us. It was very back and forth.”
The Red allowed the Bears to shoot over 48 percent from the floor, while the Bears held the Red to only 39.6 percent. The Red shot 75 percent from the free-throw line and was out-rebounded 37-29. Cornell had a season-low nine turnovers in comparison to Brown’s 13 miscues.
Senior Brittani Rettig had a career-high 11 points while Seidel also had a career-high in points – notching 12 along with her five assists.
In the Yale victory, Cornell led by as many as 20 points on its way to an 11-point victory.
Led by career-highs in points from Maduka and Krasna, the Red built a 10-point halftime advantage, a lead they would never relenquish.
“They’re a scrappy team and they’re really aggressive. But we did a really good job of being aggressive,” Krasna said.
Maduka had 29 points for the Red – the highest total of any Cornell player this season – going 11-of-14 from the free-throw line while adding eight rebounds. Making the feat more impressive, she played only 26 minutes after fouling out.
“I stepped up at the free throw line,” Maduka said. “For some reason, whenever I shoot well at the free throw line
February 13, 2006
Coming off a sweep of rival Union last weekend, the Red women’s hockey team had hoped to make a push for the playoffs down the home stretch of the season. However, with a 2-1 loss to No. 9 Clarkson (20-9-1, 11-5-0) and a 5-1 loss to No. 3 St. Lawrence (24-3-2, 12-2-2) this past weekend, any hopes of a playoff run were swiftly put to rest. The pair of losses drops the Red to 8-16-0 overall, 4-14-0 in ECACHL play.
In a contest that would come down to the final minutes of play, the Red dropped a heartbreaker to the Golden Knights on Friday night. The game was close from the outset, and the first goal did not come until the second period when sophomore Molly McDonald scored her first goal of the year 5:48 into the action to give the Red a 1-0 lead.
McDonald, who was set up at the blue line, took a pass from junior Caroline Scott and fired the puck into the traffic in front of Clarkson goalie Kira Hurley. The puck managed to squeeze through the crowd and found its way past the outstretched arm of Hurley.
That would be the only goal of the period, as the Red went to the dressing room for the second intermission clinging to a 1-0 lead.
As the third period got under way, it was clear that the Knights were on the attack. However, due in large part to the play of junior goaltender Beth Baronick, the Red was able to turn back each Clarkson attempt. Baronick, who made 20 saves in the third period alone, finished with 47 on the night.
“Beth is really a terrific goalie, and I think she is showing that to everyone this year, and I can’t wait to see what she does next year,” said junior Halina Kristalyn.
The Knights finally got onto the board with just 4:20 left in the game after a shot from the point by Sophie Doyon was stopped by Baronick but caromed directly to Jessica Cloutier. Cloutier slammed the puck into the back of the net to knot the score at one and suck some wind out of the Red’s sails.
If Cloutier’s goal knocked the wind out of the Red, then Amanda Dittmer delivered the knockout punch just 1:25 later with the Knights on a power play. Dittmer was able to capitalize on the man-advantage to score her third goal of the year, which proved to be the game winner.
“I think everyone on our team thought this before, but we showed [Clarkson] that we could really play with them,” Kristalyn said. “It was just a lack of discipline and penalties that killed us in the end.”
Saturday afternoon’s contest against St. Lawrence was much less of a nail-biter, with the Saints leading from wire to wire. The Red was able to hold St. Lawrence scoreless through much of the first period until Alison Domenico broke the tie with a backhander from just inside the right face-off circle at the 15:17 mark. Less than four minutes later the Saints extended the lead to 2-0 when Sabrina Harbec, the nation’s leading scorer, slipped a wraparound past Baronick for her 19th goal of the year.
“They just kept up the pressure on the power play and took advantage of our mistakes,” Kristalyn said. “That’s the hallmark of a good team.”
St. Lawrence did not let up once the second period began, scoring its third goal of the game just 24 seconds into the period. Emilie Berlinguette skated in over the blue line and hit a streaking Domenico in front of the Red net. Domenico finished the play with her second goal of the game, giving her team a 3-0 lead. Thirteen minutes later and with the Red on a power play, Forgues snapped a wrist shot past Saints goaltender Jessica Moffat for the Red’s only goal of the afternoon and Forgues’ team-leading 11th of the season.
The Saints would extend their lead in the third period on power-play goals from Annie Guay and Harbec to make the final score 5-1.
The Red next takes the ice on Friday in Cambridge, Mass., for a match-up with ECAC rival Harvard. Following the game against the Crimson, the Red travels to Hanover, N.H., to take on Dartmouth.
“We’re just excited to play our last two league games,” said Kristalyn. “I think we can take a lot out of this past weekend’s games to help us against Harvard and Dartmouth.”
Archived article by Jacob LiebermanSun Staff Writer