Cornell women’s lacrosse came up just short against Albany on Tuesday evening at Schoellkopf Field. The Danes stole the lead with two goals in the final 20 seconds of play to push past the Red, 11-10, after a game of high-strung back and forth action.
“That stings, that’s painful,” said Cornell head coach Jenny Graap ’86. “But we need to respect that fight and be ready to bring that same desire and intensity to our battles in the weeks ahead.”
Sophomore Tomasina Leska opened up the game for the Red (9-2, 4-0 Ivy) with a quick response to the Danes’ (8-4, 3-1) first goal, tying it up three minutes into the first half. Following another Albany goal, the Red took the lead with a goal from both junior Ida Farinholt and senior Amie Dickson.
The game continued with rapid blasts of scoring on both sides. After Albany recaptured a 4-3 lead, Farinholt, Dickson and junior Taylor Reed retaliated with consecutive goals to take the lead once more, 6-4. However, Albany’s Kenzie Neal mirrored the Red’s burst with three consecutive tallies of her own, bringing the score to 7-6 in favor of the Danes.
The game continued to swing rapidly, each team taking the lead only to have it seized within seconds. Two more goals from Reed gave Cornell a brief one-point lead, which was quickly snagged by Albany’s Dakotah Savitcheff, answering with a pair of goals.
In the final four minutes of play, Cornell gained the lead for the last time, off of consecutive shots from freshman Sarah Phillips and Dickson, but following the back-and-forth nature of the game, the lead couldn’t be held for long.
“Clearly the last minutes of the game were the most poignant lessons,” Graap said. “We had the ball, with a one goal lead, and we ran a good play, but we didn’t finish on our shot to go up by two. We gave Albany time to execute their offense and get the tying goal with 18 seconds on the clock.”
Less than 10 seconds later, Albany’s Neal won the draw and launched the ball to Savitcheff, allowing her to make a final run and capture the game-winning goal to hand Cornell its only second loss of the season.
Savitcheff led the Danes in scoring with six goals, while the Red was led by three points from Farinholt, Reed and Dickson, with the first two recording hat tricks. Senior captain Catie Smith shined on the circle, winning six draw controls and forcing four turnovers, while freshman Mary Kate Bonanni grabbed some key ground balls for the Red.
Though frustrated by the upset, the Red will continue moving forward with its highly successful season, determined to remain undefeated in the Ivy League.
“We learn and we become stronger,” Graap said. “It’s not the time to get frustrated. We continue to support each other and to take pride in our preparation for an important Ivy game on the road at Dartmouth this weekend.”
The Green (5-6, 0-4) presents an ideal opportunity for women to begin a winning streak, as Dartmouth sits last in the Ancient Eight. Play gets underway from Hanover Saturday at 3 p.m.