On a wet, Easton, Pa. night the Cornell women’s soccer team found itself waiting and waiting, not knowing whether or not it would have the chance to take the pitch against a strong Lafayette squad.
The match, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, was ultimately called off due to lightning and no make-up date has been announced. The team does not have much time to rest though, as it is scheduled for a 7 p.m. bout with Penn Friday in Philadelphia, Pa.
The Red (2-8, 0-1 Ivy League) hoped to come into Wednesday’s game riding high off its solid victory over Niagara at home last weekend, 2-0. Unfortunately, the match was not in the cards and the team was forced to travel back to East Hill without the win it hoped to earn over the Leopards (5-3-1). However, the Red maintains that the cancellation will not disrupt its rhythm, instead suggesting that the break could indeed provide an edge for Cornell heading into the weekend.
“I think it might have been a blessing in disguise,” said senior co-captain and defender Sidra Bonner. “We get another day of rest before going into our next Ivy League game. I think we’re really excited … because people will have more energy than they would have had, had we played [Wednesday] night.”
Tonight, the Red will travel to Philadelphia where it will take the field against a powerful Penn team (6-2, 0-1 Ivy League) that is still searching for its first Ancient Eight win. The Quakers started their season in impressive fashion, winning their first five contests without conceding a goal. The team then dropped a close one at George Mason and followed up the defeat with a road loss to Harvard, 2-0. Penn has recovered from this short slide though, earning a decisive shutout victory over Youngstown State, 3-0, at home last Sunday.
“Penn, like most other Ivy League teams, has very strong forwards up top,” Bonner said. “Overall, we’re looking to impose our style of play on them tomorrow night.”
Penn’s offense has been prolific this season, outscoring opponents by a wide margin, 14-5. Particularly, the team’s greatest offensive threats come from senior forward Marin McDermott, who has already tallied four goals and two assists on the season, and former Ivy League Rookie of the Year sophomore forward Kerry Scalora, who has notched one goal and four assists this year. The Red maintains that, in order to take down the Quakers, it will need to keep Penn from getting into its normal scoring groove and instead impose the Cornell style of play.
“They’re always one of the top teams in the Ivy League,” said junior midfielder/forward Xandra Hompe. “We expect them to be good, [but] we’re just focused on playing our style of play and putting some balls into the back of the net, like we did against Niagara … We can play with them.”
While Cornell had a bit of a tough start to the season, the most recent game against Niagara was encouraging, with the Red earning a decisive victory.
“Looking at our forward line, Brook Chang and Maneesha Chitanvis have scored goals for us in the past couple of games,” Bonner explained. “We’re looking for them to step up and have good games. I think all of our [midfielders] are going to step up as they get comfortable in these Ivy League games, but I definitely think tomorrow is going to be a really big game for our forwards.”