The Cornell women’s lacrosse team has undoubtedly had a very successful season, only losing to high-caliber, top-15 teams in Maryland, Syracuse and Princeton. The team has already surpassed its win total from last season and improved its win percentage from .562 to .786, so anything more this year is icing on the cake.
But with an Ivy League title at play, the No. 18 Red (11-3, 5-1 Ivy) must defeat No. 14 Penn (11-3, 5-1) on their senior day for a chance to share the title with the Tigers.
“This season, we have compiled a 5-1 record at home, and we are looking to send the seniors off with the final home win of the regular season on Saturday,” said junior goalkeeper Renee Poullott.
Poullott’s recent efforts earned her the Defensive Player of the Week award. She managed to stop 10 shots against Syracuse and followed this trend by blocking ten shots in the 11-3 win against Harvard. This performance held the Crimson to their lowest offensive output in a game since 2013, when they played Northwestern, losing 16-3.
The Red may have a player of the week guarding their net, but Penn has a dangerous threat on offense who also earned similar accolades. Senior attack Nina Corcoran was the Offensive Player of the Week, scoring two goals and earning 10 assists in her last two games against Princeton and Yale. Corcoran is only eight assists away from setting a new Ivy League record.
“We expect the Penn game to be a close contest and come down to the wire this weekend,” Poullott said. “We know that Penn is a very disciplined, intense team that values and takes care of each possession. The outcome of this game is critical as the winner will take the Ivy League regular season title.”
Finishing this regular season on the best note possible will depend on how focused the Red can be in this concluding contest. The Quakers managed to stay efficient on attack against Yale, going 9-for-11 on shots on goal in their 9-8 win. Stopping them will be no easy task.
“This season our team has placed an emphasis on taking the schedule game-by-game,” Poullott said. “Our win over Harvard this past weekend was critical. Even though in the end it came down to an eight goal margin, we are looking to be more crisp, take care of our moments and most importantly play together.”
As a unit, the team must win this game to avenge their previous dramatic losses to Penn last season. The Quakers squeaked by in the regular season with a 10-9 win over the Red and clinched the following postseason game a week later with a 7-6 victory.
The eight graduating seniors look forward to playing their final regular season game on home turf. All the long hours of practice and traveling have added up to fire up this team to go out with a bang.
“Senior Day is always emotional,” Poullott said. “Our eight seniors have been tremendous leaders and assets to our team on and off the field this year. It’s sad yet exciting knowing this could potentially be one of the last opportunities we have to play alongside one another.”