It doesn’t get any more Ivy than this. After earning an Ivy League victory on the road last week against powerhouse Princeton, the Red will host No. 4 Dartmouth this Saturday at noon at Schoellkopf Field. The game will be immediately followed by the men’s team, which will host Harvard. But as if that wasn’t enough, on the sideline for Dartmouth will be former Cornell player Courtney Farrell ’08 who is now an assistant coach for the Big Green.
“It’s going to be a big day of lacrosse,” said head coach Jenny Graap, “especially with Courtney being there. It adds an element of emotion to the game for the girls.”
The women’s squad (3-6, 2-2 Ivy) just was on cloud nine, having beaten No. 17 Princeton, 11-8, at Princeton Stadium in an epic three-game battle. But the players won’t let the victory go to their heads, Graap explained. Despite the important victory, they have settled down to prepare for Dartmouth on Saturday.
“We were very excited to defeat Princeton but that’s old news,” Graap said. “This week has been about preparation for our next opponent.”
The Red’s next opponent will present a tough challenge for the team. The Big Green (8-1), under head coach Amy Patton, is currently undefeated in the Ivy League. Dartmouth defeated Columbia, 15-1; Yale, 12-5; and Brown, 9-7.
“It’s a reality that they are a very capable and talented team and they’ve been having a great season,” Graap said when asked if there would be an additional amount of pressure involved in the game because of Dartmouth’s intimidating record. “All those things make them a solid opponent for Cornell. But we certainly feel like we’ll be prepared for the game on Saturday.”
In preparation for the Big Green, the Red has been working consistently on pressure situations during practice. The team has been focusing on its stick skills, decision-making, and overall execution under the type of pressure it anticipates Dartmouth to put throughout the game.
Sophomore attacker Jessi Steinberg also commented on the importance of a good transition game.
“Our transition game proved to be important in the game against Princeton, so we’ve been working on that, as well,” Steinberg said.
Historically, the Big Green has had a clear advantage over the Red. Dartmouth holds the lead in the overall record with a dominant 24-6. However, Cornell is 3-5 in the last eight match-ups, and 3-1 at home in the last four contests held in Ithaca.
“The home field is always a nice advantage,” Steinberg said. “It’s nice to feel the support from our fans and be playing with the familiarity of our field.”
Cornell seeks to capitalize on that advantage and break Dartmouth’s undefeated Ivy record before heading off to Brown next Friday for another Ivy League showdown.