Despite taking its first lead of the 2012 season off a goal by senior defender Jayann Gabrio, the Red was unable to come away with a win over George Washington on Monday, dropping its second game of the weekend, 3-2.
The squad traveled to Washington, DC this weekend for the DC Invitational against Big East opponent Georgetown (5-0) and George Washington (2-2). The Red (0-2) got off to a slow start against the Hoyas on Saturday, giving up four goals in the first half and eventually falling, 6-1. Georgetown — already five games into the season — had a slight advantage over the Red, as the match against Georgetown was Cornell’s first contest of the fall.
“I think that definitely put us at a disadvantage because Georgetown had the chance to become acquainted with each other on the field,” said junior midfielder Rachel Nichols. “Our only experience with each other so far came from practices and scrimmages.”
The Red was able to get on the board in the second half off a goal by sophomore forward Jaclyn Katz. The header off a cross from the wing gave Katz her first goal in a Cornell uniform.
In her first start in the net, junior goalkeeper Tori Christ made eight saves against an explosive Georgetown offense that put up 14 shots on goal.
“Tori had an awesome game and made a lot of really great saves for us,” Nichols said. “She’s one of our captains and she’s so strong back there, I think she’s really going to contribute to our success this year.”
Though the offense only put up three shots on goal against the Hoyas, the Red came out firing against the Colonials on Monday. Despite the loss, the squad had 10 shots on goal compared to the Colonials’ five.
“We have the potential to score a lot of goals this year,” Nichols said. “We just need to make sure we transition quickly from defense to offense and get numbers up front when we’re attacking.”
Gabrio’s score off a free kick in the 37th minute gave the Red a 1-0 advantage. However, in the 45th minute with the second half just underway, the Colonials responded with a goal that came after a Red player was down on the ground with an injury. With one extra player working the ball up the field on offense, the Colonials were able to squeeze a goal past Christ.
Down 2-1 in the second half after a strike by GW midfielder Alex Neal, the Red finally found an equalizer in the 60th minute. A 30-yard free kick by Gabrio forced the Colonials’ goalie to make a diving save, giving sophomore defenseman Clara Gallagher the opportunity to send the rebound into the back of the net.
The score stayed tied until, with only four minutes left in regulation Colonial striker Meg Murphy put a shot into the left side of the net. Despite multiple scoring opportunities earlier in the game, Cornell could not find an answer for Murphy’s blow in the 86th minute.
According to Nichols, the Red understands it is early in the season and there are still adjustments to be made; both to a new head coach and to a different team on the field.
“I think there are still some adjustments to be made but the team respects our new coach a lot and he is a smart coach who knows what he’s doing, so the team is willing to adjust to any new coaching strategies put in front of us,” she said.
The squad will be back in action on Friday in Hamilton, N.Y. when it will face off against Colgate. The Red has three more games on the road before its home opener against Sacred Heart on Sept. 14.