By TROY BRIDSON
In the final moments of the first half, with No. 20 Princeton (9-6, 6-0 IVY) leading Cornell (10-6, 4-2 IVY) by one goal, the Red tried to equalize. Cornell got a penalty corner and looked to senior captain Marisa Siergiej to tie the score.
On a nicely executed play, the team got the ball to Marisa Siergiej who put a tremendous shot on net. However, Princeton goalie Anya Gersoff delivered an outstretched save to deny Marisa Siergiej. Moments later, Gersoff made another brilliant save on senior forward Katie Garrity. Princeton would make it 2-0 before halftime, a deficit that allowed the Tigers to tighten up its defense in the second half.
“[Gersoff] made a diving save to deny Marisa and then came across to make another great save against Katie,” said head coach Donna Hornibrook.
Gersoff was able to shut down the often explosive Cornell offense, as Princeton went on to beat Cornell, 4-0.
“I felt like we moved the ball fairly well in the beginning, but we made some decisions in critical moments that were not the best,” Hornibrook said.
The Cornell defense looked solid for a lot of the match. Princeton’s offense has dominated opponents at times this year, but the Cornell defense was able to hold the Princeton offense to just four goals. In the second half, Cornell sent more players forward and had an attacking mentality to try to even the game, which led to some holes in the defense.
“We’d rather go down swinging. We had to expose our defense to create some opportunities offensively,” Hornibrook said.
Princeton’s defense also looked solid in the match.
“They did a really good job of making their tackles outside the circle,” Hornibrook said.
A major deciding factor in the match was Princeton’s ability to create chances and get quality shots on net. Princeton outshot Cornell, 14-8. Nonetheless, sophomore goalie Kelly Johnson had a nice game in net for the Red. Johnson kept Cornell in the match with four saves.
The Red gathered seven penalty corners in the match and got quality looks from most of the corners. Ultimately, Cornell’s inability to capitalize on those chances led to the defeat. Freshman standout Isabel Siergiej also continued her impressive 2015 season, leading the Red with three total shots, two of which were on goal. Other strong performances came from junior forward Katy Weeks and sophomore back and midfielder Sam McIlwick.
Princeton now moves into sole possession of first place in the Ivy League and will look to capture the Ivy League title this weekend. Cornell drops to third in the Ivy League standings, behind both Princeton and Penn (13-2, 5-1 Ivy).
Cornell’s next match will be against Dartmouth (7-9, 2-4 Ivy) on Saturday. This will be the last match of Cornell’s 2015 season. The Red will look to make improvements offensively to have success against Dartmouth.