Men's basketball head coach Brian Earl starts his first season for Cornell after serving as an assistant at Princeton.

Head Coach Brian Earl Sets New Tone for Men’s Basketball

Brian Earl lurks, not in a menacing way, but you always know where he is in a room. The new coach of the Cornell men’s basketball team — hired after eight years as an assistant at his alma mater of Princeton — is a relatively quiet presence at practice. Sometimes Earl jumps into drills, but often he’s slightly removed from the middle of the action, observing. He watches practices intensely, walking over to players one-on-one to tell them if he sees something they can improve. From time to time, Earl will raise his voice, but that’s often limited to when he’s announcing what drill he wants to see the team work on next.

Freshman forward Kristen O'Neill leads Cornell in scoring and points with four goals and an assist.

Freshman Star Kristin O’Neill Shines on Big Stage

Freshman forward Kristin O’Neill has been a breakout star for Cornell women’s hockey so far this season, providing a much-needed offensive spark for the Red. “Kristin O’Neill is a very dynamic player,” said head coach Doug Derraugh ’91. “She will be an impact player for us in the years to come.”

O’Neill currently leads Cornell (3-2, 1-2 ECAC) in scoring and points, with four goals and an assist on the year. O’Neill credited the upperclassmen for welcoming her to the team and the added practice time in college hockey as some of the reasons for her success. “The upperclassmen have really made the freshman feel welcome,” O’Neill said.

Junior goalkeeper Kelly Johnson plays for much more than her family and for her institution.

Kelly Johnson: the Image of a Successful Female Athlete at Cornell

For junior goalkeeper Kelly Johnson, a fourth generation Cornellian playing for Cornell field hockey is about more than just representing her family and her institution. “A great majority of the people in my family that have come to Cornell have been men, so representing the power of females in sports and academics means a lot to me,” she said. For the past three years, Johnson — a biology and society major — has come to define female achievement for the Big Red and has become one of the most talented and consistent players in Cornell history. This season, Johnson broke the program record for most wins as a goalkeeper and notched the seventh shutout of her career. “Kelly has always been a really solid goalkeeper,” said Head Coach Donna Hornibrook.