The women’s soccer team split its two contests this weekend, beating Niagara at home on Friday and falling on the road to Bucknell. Each game went to overtime, as the Red (4-4-0) continued its trend of dominating at home and struggling on the road.
In Friday’s match against the Purple Eagles (4-4-0), the women went into halftime trailing 1-0. Though freshman goalkeeper Jodi Palmer made five saves in the first half, the Red eventually surrendered one in the 39th minute to Niagara’s Britney Bisnott. Six minutes into the second half, however, freshman Lena Russomagno evened the game at 1 with her sixth goal in four games.
The two squads battled out the rest of regulation to a stalemate. After Niagara dominated the early part of the first overtime period, the Red turned to another freshman for some late-game heroics. After running onto a throw in from sophomroe Lauren Lynn, freshman Natalie Zandt came up with her second overtime game-winner this season to down the Purple Eagles. With just 18.6 seconds to play, the Red finished off an unbeaten three-game homestand.
“I thought it was a great game,” Russomagno said. “We were able to come back from behind and that shows that we’re really coming together as a team,”
Russomagno highlighted the fact that the team is growing stronger mentally. The Red has given up goals at the beginning and end of halves throughout the year, which it did again versus Niagara. This time, however, the squad was not discouraged, and was able to come back and win a match that it felt it should have won.
In yesterday’s road match at Bucknell (4-4-0), Cornell controlled the first half, as it generated 10 shots to the Bisons’ four. The second half and overtime period was a different story, though, as Bucknell held more possession and generated all of the scoring opportunities. Palmer turned away six shots, but eventually succumbed to the onslaught with 21 seconds left in the extra period from a Kelliann Doherty goal.
The women were able to hang with a tough Bucknell squad and gave themselves a chance to pull out a victory at the end. Head coach Danielle LaRoche expressed disappointment with the team’s loss, but not with how the Red played — a sentiment shared by the rest of the team. the rest of the team.
Following this weekend’s action, the Red’s home record is now a perfect 4-0-0. Its performance on the road, on the other hand, has been a less than stellar 0-4-0. Russomagno is aware of the phenomenon and attributes the team’s success at home to its supportive crowds at Berman Field. She feels that its play at Bucknell is a sign of improvement and believes the team is starting to gel heading into Ivy League play.
“One of our goals heading into the year was to win all of our home games and go .500 on the road. Even though we didn’t win on the road, I think we’re one step closer,” she said.