As Slope Day draws near, a certain group of Cornell athletes will not find themselves “throwing their hands up in the air” to Taio Cruz. The women’s lacrosse team will be fighting for an Ivy Title as it takes on Dartmouth in an Ivy League Tournament semi-final game on May 4th at 5:00 p.m. in Philadelphia, PA.
The Red (11-4, 5-2 Ivy League) is the No. 3 seed and its opponent Dartmouth (10-4, 5-2) is the No. 2 seed. The winner will face the victor between the number one overall seed — host Penn and the four seed Harvard — on Sunday May 6th in the hopes of claiming the crown of Ivy League Tournament Champion.
It appears that the Ivy League Tournament could not have come at a better time or place for the Red. Over the course of the season, Cornell has remained undefeated on the road and to date the Red finds itself on a three-game winning streak where it has not simply beaten its competitors, but demolished them. Statistically, Cornell has doubled the score of each of its previous three opponents.
Senior midfielder Shannon McHugh had this to say when asked about the end of season success and importance for her club, “Starting at the beginning of the year, we emphasized being focused on improving and that the most important part was how we end,” said senior midfielder Shannon McHugh. “We have always wanted to reach our peak at the end of the season.”
Dartmouth, on the other hand, is no push-over of a squad. In fact, one of the two losses in the Red’s Ivy League record column was at the expense of the Green. However, Dartmouth is on a two-game skid coming into this matchup and will be looking to climb out of a serious hole.
When asked about the strategic efforts leading up to the rematch, head coach Jenny Graap keyed in on a few areas of importance.
“Last time we were not sharp enough. This time around we are more seasoned and I feel really good about our preparation,” she said. “A major focal point will be to not let one of their player’s get so hot.”
When the two teams met earlier in the season, senior Kirsten Goldberg of Dartmouth all but sealed the deal for the Green as she scored five goals. Sarah Plumb joins Goldberg at the head of the offense with 33 goals and 11 assists on the season.
There is some history behind the matchup as well. The Red fell to Dartmouth last season in the first ever Ivy League Tournament in women’s lacrosse. Coming into the game on a two game winning streak, the Red will try to avenge that loss this weekend.