February 23, 2012

W. LACROSSE | Cornell Begins Season Play on the Road

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The Cornell Women’s lacrosse team will travel to Rutgers this week to face the Scarlet Knights in its first game of the season this Saturday. Historically, the Red is 21-19 in season openers but is looking for its first opening game road win since 2008. The Red is 12-3 against the Scarlet Knights, but has not beaten them since 2009.

Cornell is looking to ride the momentum it gained at the end of last season when it upset the then No. 2 Florida Gators 9-6. The majority of that team has remained intact, with 10 of the 12 starters returning.

The Red just named four senior players as captains: defender Cacki Helmer, midfielders Katie Kirk and Shannon McHugh and attacker Jessi Steinberg, all of whom will be leading the team this year.

Although the Red boasts a strong senior class, featuring nine players, it has also been able to recruit a large freshman class, including eight new players. The freshman include Goalie Carly Gneiwek; Gabby Weintraub, Christine Ferguson and Kristin Carr on defense; Skylar Fidel, Sarah Hefner and Claire Mcmanus in the midfield and Lindsay Toppe at Attacker.

A prominent storyline in the game will be the matchup of the twin sisters, Jessi and Ali Steinberg. Senior attacker Jessi Steinberg led the Red in scoring last year, tallying 38 goals while her sister senior midfielder Ali Steinberg was second in scoring for Rutgers with 28. Jessi was tied for 27th in the nation for scoring, with 2.71 goals per game, and is on the Tewaaraton watch list, which is the highest individual honor in women’s lacrosse. She is one of 53 players who have been listed across all three divisions of women’s lacrosse.

Other players to watch include junior defender Kate Ivory and junior goaltender Courtney Gallagher. Ivory was 26th in caused turnovers in the nation, with 1.64 per game and 25th in ground balls with 2.64 per game. Gallagher was 35th in the country with a 9.00 goals against average.

The Ivy League has dominated the preseason rankings for women’s lacrosse with Princeton ranked No. 6, Penn ranked No. 8, Dartmouth ranked No. 10 and Harvard ranked No. 18. Although the Red did not make it into the preseason poll, it still received three votes in the Laxpower poll.

Original Author: Zach Gayner

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