The Cornell women’s soccer team just walked into thin air.
The Red arrived in Denver yesterday in preparation to play its season opener against the University of Colorado today at 4:00 p.m. From Boulder the team will travel to Colorado College to play on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
This trip is the women’s first trial under new coach Berhane Andeberhan.
Cornell is not sure what to expect on the field. The team has been decimated by injuries already, most notably senior Sophia Smith’s torn meniscus in her knee. Although Andeberhan is no stranger to the team, he spent time with the women while he earned a Ph.D. in food science, he has acquired a new assistant staff and a fresh outlook.
“I want to bring a new culture to the team,” he said. “If [my tactics] work, then I am a good coach, if they don’t… we’ll have to try something else.”
Along with a more intense training regimen, he flooded the midfield to with new recruits to bolster the Red’s depth in that position. To compensate, Andeberhan left three players on defense who he has incredible faith in. He also wants to see an increase in scoring opportunities ignited by freshman Alicia Doolittle and classmate Emily Knight. Forward Erica Olson is also returning from injuries.
All of Andeberan’s strategies will be on display in Colorado.
Both the Buffaloes and the Tigers will prove formidable opponents for the Red. The two Colorado schools officially started their seasons on August 25. Colorado College boasts a perfect 5-0 record including a win over Colgate. University of Colorado, on the other hand, is 0-3 on the season and is looking for its first win.
At the same time that the Buffaloes and Tigers began competing, the Red started its official practices. This year the Ivy League suffered an abbreviated preseason due to Dartmouth’s quarter schedule.
The mile high altitude may also be a factor this weekend. The Colorado teams are accustomed to the lack of oxygen.
“[My friends] from Colorado said that we will be winded,” junior co-captain Julie DeMichele said.
“We want to be competitive with [these teams],” Andeberhan said.
DeMichele is excited to start the season away from Cornell. While home crowds are comforting, DiMichele believes trips foster team bonding.
“This is the first big road trip that I’ve taken,” she said. “It’s too bad that the entire team cannot come along.”
The young squad hopes to build a common bond to carry into the rest of the season during its trip.
“We’re really excited to be playing.” DeMichele said. “I feel confident in our team.”
Archived article by Amanda Angel