After a suspense filled 11-10 win over USC this past weekend, the Red now sets its sights on defeating Yale this Saturday at 1 p.m. in New Haven.
The Red (5-1, 2-0 Ivy) looks to move to 3-0 in Ancient Eight play with a fifth straight regular season win. A victory this weekend would also be Cornell’s tenth-straight over Yale (5-3, 1-1) and would bring the team’s all-time record against the Bulldogs to 20-19.
Thus far this season, the women’s lacrosse team has taken on some of the best teams in the nation and has put up an average of 15 goals per game. Leading scorers include senior captains Catherine Ellis with 15 goals and Kristy Gilbert with 13, as well as junior Taylor Reed with 12 goals. In the Red’s last matchup, Reed helped push the team to victory with a clutch free-position goal with just 1:52 left to play.
“I think we’ve been able to be successful by just focusing on our goals and reminding each other that we need to get better every day.” Ellis said. “Getting better every day is our team theme for this season, and I think so far we have been doing that. Each game we learn new things that we can do better, and we try and work on those things in practice.”
The last game against Yale come on March 5, 2016 at Schoellkopf Field, a game the Red won 10-6. This weekend’s matchup will be a home game for the Bulldogs, but that does not seem to worry the Red.
“I don’t think playing them on their field will really affect us,” Ellis said. “This game will be our third away trip in the last three weeks so it’s nothing new. The juniors and seniors have all played at Yale before and were successful there once so we’re excited to go back.”
Senior goalkeeper Renee Poullott was a key defender in last year’s game against Yale and will likely get the bid to start the game again this year. She has started all six games of the season thus far and has been quite successful.
Against USC this past weekend, Poullott showed off her prowess in net, making 10 saves and proving to be the game’s key player. She has put up an impressive 42 saves on the season thus far, playing for over 345 minutes. For her efforts against USC, she was named the Ivy League defensive player of the week, her first of the season and the fifth of her career.
Captains Ellis and Gilbert both believe that the younger players have adapted well to the student-athlete lifestyle and have been an important part of the team’s success thus far. Four of the top 10 scorers on the team are either sophomores or freshmen, showing both the youth and depth of the group.
“The youngest members of the team are handling the pressure really well,” Gilbert said. “They are playing confidently and are really acclimating to Division I lacrosse.”
The Red will look to focus on its consistent and rewarding teamwork as well as its strong offense and defense to overcome the Bulldogs this weekend. Coming out strong will likely be a key to securing another victory, as will playing as a cohesive unit.
“Our team has been so successful because we are playing with each other,” Gilbert said. “We have each other’s backs and are fighting with each other for every ball.”
After the Red’s last win against USC, it moved from No. 11 to No. 7 in the Inside Lacrosse poll, and a victory over Yale would improve its standing even further.