September 11, 2013

FIELD HOCKEY: Cornell Hopes to Rebound After Early Disappointment

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BY TUCKER MAGGIO-HUCEK

Cornell field hockey will have two chances this weekend to rebound from a disappointing start to the 2013 season. The Red (0-2) will take on St. Francis (1-0) on Friday at 4pm and Georgetown (0-4) on Sunday at noon. Both of this weekend’s contests will be played at home on Marsha Dodson Field.

While last weekend’s results were not exactly what the Red was hoping for, senior captain Carolyn Horner feels that the experience will be something that the team can build on.

“While a loss is never the outcome you strive for, it is a building block. Whether it uncovers things that your team needs to work on or simply just fuels motivation for the future, tough losses do help a team grow and mature,” she said.

St. Francis built off of its successful season last year by winning its first game of the season 6-3 against Lehigh. The Red Flash was led by junior forward Autumn Pellman who scored five goals in the season opener against Lehigh. St. Francis also returns with many players who earned accolades last season. Junior midfielder Carissa Makea earned NEC Defensive Player of the Year as well as First Team NEC. Sophomore midfielder Selena Adamshick earned NEC Rookie of the Year and also joined her teammates in the NEC (as well as First Team honors) first team.

Georgetown enters Sunday’s game winless through their first four contests of the 2013 season.  Last season, the Red defeated Georgetown 3-1 on goals from sophomore back Marisa Siergiej and senior captain Hannah Balleza. The Hoyas have been outscored this season by a total of 18-3. Headlining the stats column for Georgetown is sophomore forward Sarah Butterfield with her two goal total, while freshman midfielder Maria McDonald has also scored a goal for the Hoyas.

Learning from the team’s early season mistakes, the Red is working on several aspects of its game this week. One of those aspects is sharing possession.

“A big thing for us is making better connections between each of the lines (defense, mids, offense) so that we have a more collective team contribution and less individual handling of the ball,” Balleza said.

One of the most difficult things for any team to do early in the season is to play consistently for an entire game. Early on in a contest, the Red has been able to string together long periods of strong play where the team executed its game plan. However, the squad was unable to play a complete game this way, and when it did slip up in execution, the Red’s opponents were able to capitalize. A focus this week will be to play both games at a high level.

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