Even after showcasing its aggressive new 3-5-2 formation, the Cornell women’s soccer team could not find the back of the net.
The Red (0-2) dropped its first two games of the fall to the University of Colorado (1-3) and Colorado College (7-0), both by the score of 1-0.
The Buffaloes only goal in its Friday home opener on Friday came late in the 70th minute on star forward Melissa Cartmell’s first goal of the season. Cartmell, the Buffaloes all-time leading scorer, took a cross through the defense from midfielder Andrea Matassa, and tapped it past Red senior ‘keeper Meghan Cauzillo for the game-winner. An impressive Cauzillo had already saved seven shots, but was unable to stop Cartmell’s seventh attempt of the game. The Buffaloes would combine for a season-high 23 shots.
Meanwhile, Colorado goalie Sara Erskine stole the show, sweeping aside 11 shots. After allowing four goals in the her past three games, Erskine played almost flawlessly in recording her first career shutout.
“I was very happy with the way we played today,” said Erskine, according to Colorado’s Athletic Media Relations Service. “I think we stepped it up a notch because it is our home field and we take a lot of pride in winning at home. It was nice to finally get a win. I felt awesome today. I was nervous before the game, but once it got started I felt much more comfortable and as the game progressed, I think the defense got more confident in themselves and in me.”
With five versatile midfielders and two dedicated attackers, the Red mustered 16 shots, 11 of those on goal. The offense’s pressure forced eight corners, but was never able to convert. Sophomore Sarah Olsen and freshman Emily Knight had great chances, but both had three shots denied by Erskine.
Yesterday’s game against Colorado College proved to be little different, as Tiger’s sophomore Rebecca Carroll found the top-left corner of the Red goal in the 72nd minute. Carroll slipped past Cornell defenders on a free-kick from Kasey Clark, and buried it from the top of the box.
On this occasion, however, the Red effectively rebounded and limited Colorado College to only six shots on goal, with Cauzillo stopping five of those.
With more practice under its new system, the Red should soon be able to jump into full gear for its upcoming Ivy season.
“We just want to be competitive,” said coach Berhane Andeberhan before suffering the Colorado sweep. “Their season started weeks before ours, and it will take us time [to be ready].”
The Red travels to Columbia for its first conference game this Saturday, before facing No. 2 Penn State next Tuesday.
Archived article by Simon Chan