The Red (2-1-0) lost its first game of the season this past Sunday, falling to Syracuse (4-1-1), 2-1, in overtime. It was the team’s first home game of the season.
Stephanie Skilton of the Orange scored first in the game, sending a high shot from the edge of the box over senior goalkeeper Kelsey Tierney’s head with 3:49 remaining in the first half.
The Orange out-shot the Red 5-2 in the first, but the Red improved play in the second.
“We just asked them to play a little more direct … and encourage the forwards to go run at people,” head coach Patrick Farmer said to Cornell Athletics after the game, when asked about what he told his players to change in the second half. “And we needed to pass the ball better.”
His advice certainly worked, as the Red out-shot the Orange 8-4.
Junior forward Tess Pullano got the Red on the board with her first goal of the season around 17 minutes into the second to even the score at one.
The Red came close at other points as well. Senior midfielder Elizabeth Crowell fired a clean shot with 13:50 left in the game that missed just left of the goal, and junior forward Paige DeLoach dribbled deep into the box only to be stopped by Orange goalkeeper Courtney Brosner with 5:30 left. Time ran out with the score tied at one, sending the game into overtime.
“I told the coaching staff before overtime started that win lose or draw I was happy with this performance,” Farmer said to Cornell Athletics after the game. “I thought that we gained a lot from this performance.”
The Orange stayed aggressive from the start of overtime and outshot the Red 5-0. Tierney made a beautiful diving save 4:05 into overtime, but Skilton fired a shot just out of Tierney’s reach into the top left corner of the net less than a minute later to give the Orange the victory. It was Skilton’s second goal of the game.
Even though the Red was not able to come away with the victory, there were many positives that came out of the match. Unlike in the team’s first two games, the Red actually improved play in the second half.
After the win against Siena, DeLoach noted how “the team’s possession and level of play dropped a lot” in the second half. That certainly wasn’t the case against Syracuse, and this is a good sign moving forward.
Cornell heads to Piscataway, NJ this Friday to take on No. 12 Rutgers (3-1-1) and try to extend its undefeated road record.
“At this point, we are taking the season game-by-game, focusing on each opponent that’s up next,” Pullano said.
The Red will certainly have to bring its A game over the next couple of weeks leading up to Ivy League play given its tough road schedule.