Today the women’s soccer team has a chance to break even on its season. The squad travels to State College, Pennsylvania today to face the heavily favored Nittany Lions at 7:00 p.m.
Cornell began its season 0-2 after two losses in Colorado but last Saturday, the team turned its season around by starting its Ivy campaign 1-0. The Red beat Columbia 2-1 and notched its first win of the season.
“[The team] is on a high note,” junior co-captain Julie DeMichele said. “We deserved to win that game, and we’re hoping to build upon it.”
The women have been improving steadily under the new leadership of coach Berhane Andeberhan. Thus far he has strengthened the defense and sharpened its transitions. Lately he has been working on offensive combinations and increased scoring.
Andeberhan brought solidarity to the team. The Red’s camaraderie on the field is its foremost weapon.
“We’ve definitely improved the dynamics of team play,” DeMichele said.
Senior forward Erica Olson agreed, “Our greatest strength is how well we’re coming together. Every practice we’re getting better at pulling as a team and working as a whole.”
In order to compete with the Nittany Lions, the Red will need a big performance from all its players, especially senior goalie Meghan Cauzillo who has been nothing less than a brick wall. Last year Penn State had a school best 21-4-1 season highlighted by an appearance at the NCAA semifinals. It finished first in the Big Ten conference and fourth nation wide.
Nevertheless the Red challenged Penn in their meeting a year ago. The Red dropped the close contest 1-0. The only goal came on a Penn State corner kick.
Although the Nittany Lions are off to a slower 5-2-1 start this year, they will still prove to be formidable opponents for Cornell. The Red hopes to stick to Andeberhan’s game plan by controlling possession, giving the forwards scoring opportunities and anchoring the defense.
“We are going [into this game] with nothing to lose,” Olson said. “We are composed and confident in our skill and what we are doing. Last year we lost [to Penn State] 1-0 and we are a better team this year. But we are realistic which makes us play smarter and better.”
Archived article by Amanda Angel