Last weekend the Cornell women’s soccer team walked into a lion’s den when it opened its season in Colorado against the better-practiced University of Colorado and Colorado College. Tomorrow the Red walks into the Lions den when it faces Columbia (1-2) in New York City. The women are hungry to capture their first win, especially against an Ivy foe.
The Red dropped the first game last weekend to the Buffaloes, 1-0. Two days later the Red succumbed to the Tigers on a disputed penalty kick.
Coach Berhane Andeberhan’s young team continued to be aggressive throughout both games, even though they trailed.
“I was very pleased with our performance [in Colorado], ” coach Andeberhan said. “I was especially impressed with the way the girls handled the coaching [during the game].”
“It was difficult [competing] without scrimmages, but I think it was a really good showing,” senior co-captain Sarah Natchez opined.
“Everybody worked together with great intensity. We were very disappointed that we didn’t win,” she added.
“We had five great days together,” junior sweeper Ellen Daly said. “We definitely can’t win games if we don’t work together.”
Nevertheless, Andeberhan came back to Ithaca with an agenda; work on defensive transitions from high to low pressure.
The team also wants to increase scoring, but Andeberhan believes that it will come as the season progresses.
“The hardest thing to do is score,” he said. “We had our scoring chances, we need to finish.”
The Colorado trip also provided a forum to showcase the team’s young talent. Freshmen attackers Alicia Doolittle and Emily Knight got many scoring opportunities with junior Erica Olson. Classmate Lindsay Rovegno provided relief as a midfielder.
The defensed is anchored by senior goalie Meghan Cauzillo who has been stellar thus far this season. She notched 15 saves in the first two games.
“[Meghan] has been so solid in the back. She is playing incredibly,” Natchez said.
While every game is important in the team’s schedule, the women are looking forward to playing Columbia. Last year the Red beat the Lions, who ended their season with a 0-6-1 Ivy record.
“The Ivy League is our top priority,” Cauzillo said. “Our big test is this weekend.”
Saturday’s game should be a more accurate indicator of the rest of the Red’s season as they try to rise in the Ivy rankings.
“We’re still looking forward to the rest of the season,” Daly said. “We want to go 16-2.”
Archived article by Amanda Angel