This weekend the Red (1-12-1, 0-4-1 Ivy League) will face first-place Princeton (11-3-1, 5-0) in a grudge match at home at 6 p.m. on Berman Field after the men take on the Tigers at 3 p.m.
“I think they felt a little sorry for themselves after the Brown game for a day or so. They trained really hard yesterday and today,” said head coach Patrick Farmer. “I think they are looking forward to the chance to not see Princeton winning the Ivy League on our field. I am hoping that they are up for the challenge.”
The Cornell women will try and grab the team’s first Ivy League win for the season and spoil the Tigers’ unblemished record in the Ancient Eight. Princeton is riding a nine-game winning streak heading into Saturday’s game at Berman, while the Red is still searching for its second season win and first Ivy one this season.
“You try to get some little mental edge out of each of the games and until you are mathematically eliminated, you are trying to win the championship. When you are mathematically eliminated, you focus on a couple of other things. You don’t want to come in last in the league,” Farmer said.
Cornell comes into this weekend after a 1-0 loss to Yale in its last game on the road. The Tigers are in a bit better position coming out of last weekend with a 2-1 victory in overtime against LaSalle — Cornell lost to LaSalle earlier this season, 4-0, on Sept. 16.
Last season, Princeton came out one top in the matchup between the two Ivy opponents after an early snowstorm hit the East coast, which forced the teams to play on a field usually used for field hockey. Princeton scored the only goal of the game in the 24th minute after consecutive shots that hit the crossbar. Princeton is currently on a 16-game winning streak in the series against the Red — including wins in 2009 and 2010.
“I think that they are mentally prepared to feel like they are competitive with [Princeton],” Farmer said.
The season has been tough for the team so far. Eight of the 14 games that the team has played to date, Cornell has lost by one goal. As pinpointed by the players and Farmer, the problems have been playing 90 full minutes of play while executing shots and turning them into goals at the same time. Farmer noted that the members of the team have kept their heads up and spirits high despite tough conditions this season.
“I think in training they have been absolutely terrific … I think that they have been competitive, spirited and interested in learning,” he said. “I am honestly surprised that they have kept their competitive spirit. Their attitude is top shelf. I think what they are trying to find is their team-wide personality and bring that together.”