Hoping to utilize its home field advantage, the women’s soccer team squares off against Colgate tonight, aiming to defeat one of its New York rivals in a rare midweek game.
“We have a short recovery, but we are definitely looking forward to playing another New York team … we are just looking to do what we’ve been doing and get a good start for the upcoming weekend,” said assistant coach Elke Reisdorph.
After the Red’s disappointing losses last weekend, the team is fired up to return to the playing field for its next challenge against the Raiders. Interestingly, Colgate is coming off a split weekend, after losing to Syracuse before tying with Marist.
“Colgate is our biggest rivalry, and last year our loss was 3-2, with them scoring in the last eight seconds in double overtime, so we will be able to match up pretty well and hopefully come away with a win,” said sophomore forward Brook Chang.
Cornell (0-3-1) and Colgate (1-3-2) are no strangers on the soccer field. Tonight’s match will mark the 29th game of this interstate rivalry. Last year, the Raiders took the edge with a 3-2 victory in Hamilton, causing Colgate to lead the all-time series 14-13-1. The Red’s last victory against the Raiders was its 2003 win at home, 2-1; however, Cornell has not lost hope and strives to make dents and alter this record.
“Since we just came off a weekend of games, we are just today [Tuesday] beginning to prepare for this game,” Reisdorph said. “We are mainly focusing on our team and making sure we play the best we can because if we are playing well, then we should be alright.”
Since Ivy League play hasn’t begun, the Red is using these preseason matches to really energize the team and have them visualize scoring and the different playing techniques required. In addition, with 11 new freshmen, Cornell is making sure to acclimate them to the fast pace of Division I soccer.
“All of these games leading up to Ivy League are for us to figure out our combinations and what works well, so right now we are adjusting and figuring things out to come together as a team, so we will be good to go,” Chang said.
With the Raiders having very skilled and dangerous forwards –– the strength of the team –– the Red will employ the defensive line to hinder these girls from scoring and not allow them to go unchecked. Knowing that defense is going to play a crucial role in the game, head coach LaRoche has practiced various defensive drills this week with the team, so that Colgate has little chance of getting close to the goal.
“We definitely need to finish, so we’ve been working on that a lot,” Chang said. “We’ve had many good opportunities in front of the net, so we want to finish and the rest is us just coming out and playing our game.”
Hoping to carry the momentum forward for this weekend’s games, the Red hopes to create a decisive victory before heading on the road for a weekend tournament.
“We will keep going and becoming a better team every game, and we will have a chance of winning this way,” Reisdorph said.