WOMEN’S SOCCER | Red Beats Lafayette; Ties Harvard

October 10, 2012 12:00 am0 comments
Haley Velasco

Things are looking up for the Red after this past week of play including both an Ivy game and a non-conference showing. After a 4-1 win against Lafayette on Tuesday, Cornell (1-10-1, 0-2-1 Ivy League) went on the road to tie the defending Ivy League Champion Harvard, 1-1, after two periods of overtime.
The 4-1 win against Lafayette ended the 14 game losing streak that the Red has been fighting to break since the early onset of the season.
The first goal of the game came from senior forward Moonie Mancho with 40 seconds left in the first half to even the playing field after an early Lafayette advantage. The Red returned to the second half and scored three more goals — two from senior forward Maneesha Chitanvis and one from senior forward Xandra Hompe — within nine minutes of play to take the victory for Cornell. Hompe also racked up three assists in the game as well to add to the tally.
The game against Lafayette was the first collegiate victory for junior goalkeeper Tori Christ in 45 minutes of play.
“[The success was from] a little more determination in the second half. Mostly I think we finished more of our chances that game than some other games,” said head coach Patrick Farmer talking about the team’s first win. “We certainly possessed the ball and played a little better, but we haven’t been playing badly. We just haven’t been finishing things off very well.”
The game against Lafayette was the first time that the Red scored four goals in a game since Sept. 5, 2010 against Delaware State — where it beat the Hornets, 7-0.
Hompe also became the first Cornellian to pick up three assists in a game since 1991 — with the accomplishment only occurring three times previously in 1983, 1987 and 1991

“I think we have really come together as a team, it took us a little bit but we are definitely doing some things that are working … and we are just really starting to come together and it’s great,” said junior midfielder Mary Keroack.This past weekend, the tie against Harvard seems to follow a trend with the Red versus Crimson matchups ending in a tie — the teams tied last season, 2-2, on Oct. 8 at Berman
“The fact that we tied them last year was a big thing for us. We wanted to at least get a point off of them again,” said Keroack. “Having the confidence after our Lafayette game was also a big factor.”
This year’s draw was thanks to a goal from Keroack in the 75th minute, for the only Cornell goal of the entire game.
“I was more surprised than anything. I hardly saw it go into the net when I headed it in. I thought it was surely going over,” said Keroack. “I just threw my hands up.”
The goal was executed off of a corner kick in the second half by Chitanvis, which Keroack capitalized on with a header 15 yards from goal. The goal for Keroack was her first since her second showing during her freshman season when she scored twice over Delaware State on Sept. 5, 2010.
“Mary has been playing really well in training and then has been a little up and down in some of the matches. But she came into this match and played really hard. She was in a great place for the corner kick and then had a really intelligent header,” said Farmer. “It was a really good goal and a deserving reward for the work that she has put in.”
Chitanvis’ assist also gives her points in the last three games for the Red and puts her in a tie with Hompe for the scoring lead at 10 points apiece.
“I think that scoring some goals on Tuesday night gave them some more confidence. We didn’t play especially well the first half [against Harvard], but the second half we picked it up, played pretty well and came from behind to score that goal,” Farmer said.
The game also gave Christ an opportunity to show her stuff for the Red with a career-high 10 saves. The only shot missed was one at the two-minute mark where Harvard turned a bouncing pass at 10 yards into its solo goal for the game. Harvard’s goalie Bethany Kanten saw a lot less action than Christ with only two shots on goal from Cornell — the goal from Keroack out of the two shots attempted throughout play.
“[Christ] played very well in the last game … I think that she did well, [she] punched a few out. She is very brave and things in crowds and stuff, she done very well with [that] … She has been very good through all three Ivy games and with Lafayette,” said Farmer.
Hoping to build off its current momentum, Cornell will continue the Ivy part of the seasonthis Saturday when it goes up against Yale at 4 p.m. on Berman Field.
“It’s Ivy League season … these are extremely important games for us … Just building confidence, keeping things moving and staying positive for the rest of the season [is the goal],” said Keroack.
Then the Red will continue with a trip to Brown the next weekend and will finish off the fall with games against Ivy foes Princeton and Dartmouth.
“I think a lot of it for us is confidence and I think that it is building after the last two games. Yale significantly outplayed them last year. So for this weekend it is to get them to play a little different, a little more defensively and a little faster play to matchup with Yale … Believing that they can and coming from behind against Harvard should give them some confidence [for this weekend],” added Farmer.