Cornell women’s soccer heads into the latter half of its Ivy League competition schedule this Saturday as the team faces off against Yale at home on Berman Field.
The Red is 0-2-1 thus far in intra-league competition, having come up short against Columbia and Penn earlier in the season. However, this past Saturday, the team was able to match Ivy League leader Harvard in a scoreless draw. The Red aims to carry the confidence it gained from this most recent Ivy League performance into its upcoming competition.
“The squad seemed buoyed by their quality effort and hard earned result at Harvard, which is traditionally the hardest place to play in the Ivy League,” said Head Coach Patrick Farmer. “If we can maintain the same team focus and communication we will be in good shape for the remainder of the Ivy schedule.”
Following the game against Harvard, the Red took on Colgate and came up short in a 1-0 loss as a result of a Colgate goal in the 84th minute of play. The loss somewhat slowed the momentum the Cornell women had coming off their game with Harvard, but they aim to regain this momentum as they return to Ivy League competition on Saturday.
“For the first time this season, in our Harvard game we connected effectively both on offense and defense,” said senior captain and midfielder Ellie Crowell. “I believe this had to do with us being proactive, rather than reactive, both in our communication and our movement on and off the ball.”
Crowell stressed the importance of unity, which the Red displayed against Harvard.
“Every person on the field and on the bench had a common focus, a common goal, and we came out strong as one unit,” Crowell said. “I think we faltered a bit in our game against Colgate, and I think we need to find that same focus and intent in our game against Yale in order to be successful.”
The Bulldogs are 1-1-1 in Ivy play after losing to Harvard, 2-1, earlier this month. This loss bodes well for the Red, who had a more successful result against the Crimson. However, Farmer said he believes Yale’s offensive line will pose a significant threat to the Red.
“[Harvard has] a very good attacking midfield group and a couple of dynamic frontrunners in Alozie and Chavarin,” Farmer said. ”They also have the current Ivy Rookie of the Week who scored their winning goal last Saturday at Dartmouth. So I feel their greatest strength is the quality and variety of attacking and scoring options they present.”
The Ivy League rookie of the week is freshman midfielder Noelle Higginson. The Bulldogs have won three Rookie of the Week awards so far this season — with the other two going to forward Aerial Chavarin. Chavarin is the Ivy League’s leading freshman scorer with eight goals in total this season.
To match Yale’s offensive power, Coach Farmer is looking to forwards Kennedy Yearby and Meera Dheer to continue to deliver after their solid performances against Colgate. He also has high expectations for Crowell, who he says is ready for a “breakout match.”
Crowell led the Red in scoring in both the 2014 and 2015 seasons, and made the All-Ivy First Team as a junior.
The Red is currently in the midst of a five-game scoring drought, so Crowell’s historic scoring ability is an especially valuable asset for the team’s offensive line. When Cornell competed against Yale on the Bulldogs’ home-turf last year, Crowell led the team to a 1-0 victory.
This year, the Red will have the home-field advantage and Crowell will again look to lead the charge against the Bulldogs. The Red faces off against Yale on Saturday at 1 p.m on Berman Field.