The Red will head on the road for the weekend to match up against Colgate today and the University of Albany on Sunday. Last season, while at home, Cornell lost to Colgate in a shutout, 0-3, early on in the season. The team will also face off against the Albany in a competition that has not occurred between the two schools since 2006.
“I think that the focus for me is that we are the land grant school. I think that we need to be doing a number of different things. We need to be doing well in the Ivy League, in the region. But first of all I think we need to be doing well in our state,” said first-year head coach Patrick Farmer. “Colgate is just a traditional, geographical, sort of similar institution, or they think they are similar anyway … I think its always a big traditional game … How [the team] responds from losing on Monday and then playing again on Friday will show a lot about them if they changed the culture from last year.”
This season, Cornell started off with an early pair of losses against Georgetown and George Washington over the holiday weekend. The team hopes to turn the season around and grab its first winning record in the last 10 years.
“The ultimate goal for us, if you are doing it record wise, is to try and be at .500. It has been a long time since we have been there so I think that is the ultimate one to try and reach. I think that the one that you put on top of that is finishing in the top half of the Ivy League,” Farmer said.
In addition to a new coach, the makeup of the team looks drastically different this year than it did last season. With an influx of new talent in the form of 10 new freshmen and the return of many talented upperclassmen, including senior tri-captains Maneesha Chitanvis and Jayann Gabrio and junior tri-captain Tori Christ, the Red seems prepared to take on the competition that lie ahead and hopefully succeed.
“I think that Jayann Gabrio, senior captain, central defender, will be an important piece in the back. She also adds some offense to that, she scored a goal on a free kick … I think that she will be an important piece back there,” Farmer said. “I also think that Maneesha Chitanvis up front will be important. She has very good footwork and is shooting the ball well right now … And then Rachel Nichols in the midfield. She is a skillful, little, creative player.”
The new coaching staff, the new dynamic freshmen and the more experienced returning players seem ready to approach this season differently than has ever been done before.
“I think that some of it is a change of culture for them. I think they need to somehow get out of the mindset that they are struggling to win games and stuff. Not on purpose, I think I do things really differently than the previous coach,” Farmer said. “It seems like up until yesterday there was a lot of teaching and not much training … We have had to approach it as an educational exercise for a while and that is sort of where we focus our stuff.”