On the weekend before Halloween, the women’s soccer team suffered more tricks than treats as it lost at Princeton, 1-0. The Red (2-12-1, 0-5-1 Ivy League) was forced to stay an extra night at Princeton due to the snowstorm, and endured its third straight loss on Sunday in the penultimate game of the team’s sixth straight losing season.
The Tigers (6-9-1, 2-4-0) knocked in the game-winner after two consecutive shots rang off the crossbar. While it was fortunate for the Red that the first two shots missed, the bizarre series of events ultimately doomed the team as the third shot went past senior goalkeeper Kelly Murphy in the 24th minute.
Despite the misfortune, Murphy and the team were able to settle down defensively allowing just two shots on goal in the second half.
“Although we didn’t have the best first half, we definitely came together in the second half and put up a better fight,” Murphy recalled. “We changed up our formation a little bit and it gave us a little more organization and the ability to control the ball more in the second half.”
Murphy recorded six saves in the contest bringing her season total to 35. She also boasts a .714 save percentage. Freshman forward Kerry Schubert took all three of Cornell’s shots including one on goal.
In another unexpected series of events, the game was rescheduled from Saturday to Sunday after the snowstorm on Friday left a few inches of snow covering the field. The game was played at 4:15 p.m. in a different arena on artificial turf instead of grass. The snow caused the team to go through a hectic waiting game at the hotel, which some players felt put them at a disadvantage.
The Tigers continued to have the Red’s number, as Princeton now owns a 14-7-4 record against Cornell historically. The Red’s next opponent, Dartmouth, leads the all-time series, 16-9-5; however, the Green (3-12-0, 1-5-0) has endured five straight losses entering play Saturday.
Last year’s schedule for the Red ended with Princeton and Dartmouth and resulted in two losses. Cornell hopes to avoid that same fate this Saturday as the team looks to match its Ivy League record from last year, 1-5-1.
With no postseason prospects on the line Saturday in Hanover, N.H., the Red’s focus is on avoiding a last place finish in the conference. A victory over Dartmouth would ensure that the Red finishes the season out of the Ivy League basement, narrowly holding a lead over the Green by one tie. Ironically, the Red’s tie in its Ivy League record came against Harvard, a team that is unbeaten against Ancient Eight opponents this season.
“Saturday is a real big opportunity for the seniors,” Murphy said. “It’s definitely a major goal for us to come out with a ‘W’ on Saturday. We’re not ready to stop now. We want to win and we’re going to put everything out on the field to make sure that it happens.”