Cornell field hockey got back on track over the weekend with wins against Brown and Rider. In what was a dominant overall weekend for the offense and defense, Cornell scored nine goals and held opponents to just two.
The win over Brown (7-7, 2-3 Ivy) represents a much-needed victory for Cornell (8-7, 2-3 Ivy) in the Ivy League.
“We definitely want to make sure that we finish the season strong,” said Head Coach Donna Hornibrook. “We’ve got some seniors, returners and freshman that all want to finish strong.”
Junior forward Krysten Mayers had a phenomenal game for the Red, scoring three goals. Mayers, who has had numerous two-goal performances in the past, notched her first career hat trick for Cornell, while junior back Sam McIlwrick continued her impressive 2016 campaign with a goal and an assist.
Senior midfielder Katy Weeks and freshman midfielder Maddy Conklin also had goals for the Red. The offensive explosion led by Mayers was enough for a 6-1 victory.
“Krysten is certainly one of the better forwards in the Ivy League,” Hornibrook said.
Mayers had a breakout season as a sophomore — leading the team in scoring. Mayers was named a regional All-American last season. This year, Mayers has developed into more of an all around player.
“[Mayers] has had moments this year where she has played very well,” Hornibrook said. “She’s probably created more scoring chances and had more assists than she has in the past.”
In the Rider (9-8, 3-2 MAAC) matchup on Sunday, Cornell fought back from a first half 1-0 deficit with a dominant second half. Goals from junior forward Katie Carlson, sophomore forward Kjersti Anderson and freshman midfielder Kirsten Pienaar propelled the Red towards a 3-1 victory.
Freshman goalkeeper Maddie Henry had three saves in net for the Red.
A bright spot for Cornell in its games against Brown and Rider was the penalty corner, an area where the team has struggled both offensively and defensively this season.
“We’ve put a lot of emphasis on really trying to get our penalty corner going,” Hornibrook said. “We scored a couple goals off of [corners] that really helped us get our momentum going.”
Another strong area for the Red was the defense, which limited scoring opportunities and at times pushed play from the back.
“We’ve been really focusing on trying to tighten things up in our back,” Hornibrook said. “If you look at the last three games we’ve let up a total of seven penalty corners.”
Over the weekend, Cornell made a transition from giving up goals off of penalty corners to scoring on these opportunities. This shift led to two Cornell victories and represents the team’s constant search for adjustments to help improve overall performance.
“I think it’s very important that we continue to be composed and poised in the circle,” Hornibrook said.
Cornell will look to build off of its momentum gained over the weekend when the team takes on Princeton at home on Saturday.