It was a closely contested game, and several times it appeared as though the Red would finally take the lead. However, on Saturday the No. 18 Cornell women’s lacrosse team (11-4, 5-2 Ivy) dropped its last game of the regular season in a heartbreaking 10-6 loss to No. 14 University of Pennsylvania (12-3, 6-1 Ivy). With the win, Penn claimed a share of the regular season Ivy League title with Princeton as well as a top seeding and hosting rights for the Ivy League tournament.
The day began with Cornell honoring the Class of 2016 seniors for their Senior Day. Hopes were high at Schoellkopf with such a large and active crowd.
The competition was close in the first half, and the Red and Quakers looked fairly evenly matched; Penn was able to get out to an early 2-0 lead, but the Red answered with force and Olivia Mattyasovszky ’16, Kristy Gilbert ’17, and Amie Dickson ‘17 scored three unanswered free position goals to get up 3-2. However, the Red’s lead was short-lived, as Penn shifted the momentum yet again, scoring two goals to go into halftime with a 4-3 advantage.
At the start of the second half, Penn and Cornell went back and forth scoring goals, but the closest the Red got was a one-goal deficit. Then — after a goal by sophomore midfielder Joey Coffy — the Red was almost completely shut down by the Quakers’ nearly impenetrable man-to-man (woman-to-woman) offense in the last 24 minutes.
“I really think that they played a really good game plan in face-guarding Emily Tripodi, our senior feeder,” said head coach Jenny Graap. “A lot of our players that normally drive to the goal up top were having trouble dodging and getting around them, so I think Penn’s defense did a really nice job of limiting our chances.”
“I think that the biggest thing is that we were being approached by them — we weren’t approaching them,” said senior attack and co-captain Emily Tripodi. “They … dictated the way the game went … I think that’s sort of what had the biggest factor on our offensive end.”
Penn went on a 4-1 goal-scoring run to end the half and win the game, dashing Cornell’s hopes at the regular season Ivy title. However, the Red will likely get a chance at revenge next weekend when they travel to Penn for the Ivy League tournament. Penn and Princeton, the one and two seeds in the tournament, are the only Ivy League foes that defeated Cornell this season, and the Red will have to come out aggressively against both teams to defeat them.
“I think we have to play fearless,” Graap said. “Now we get a second chance at them, and we’ll probably play them in the first round of the Ivy tournament, so we get a chance to go a bit harder.”
Cornell travels to Philadelphia this weekend to play in the Ivy League tournament, with hopes to conquer Penn, Princeton, and all the other Ivies and cap off their outstanding 2016 season with an Ivy League Championship.