Entering this Homecoming weekend with high hopes, the Big Red women’s field hockey team (2-2 overall, 1-0 Ivy) will face Penn (1-3) on Sunday at 1 p.m. on Schoellkopf Field.
This important Ivy League match will help to set the pace for the remainder of the season as the competition gets tougher week after week. Until last year, Cornell had not beaten Penn since the 1970s, so this game is also very important to the team in terms of pride and confidence.
After two big wins and several productive practices, the Red is ready to win.
“It’s exciting to be coming off of two wins and we’re just going to go at [Penn] hard because it could be our second Ivy win. It’s another chance to keep climbing up the ladder of the Ivy League,” commented senior co-captain Kate McMahon.
“This is the Ivy League competition that we prepare for. This is the most important game for us this week,” head coach Michelle Tambroni added.
Although the Quakers have only won one game on the year, they are not to be overlooked. Theri three losses came in overtime to very strong teams.
Additionally, Penn has two aggressive scorers and both are playing very well right now. Sophomore forward Ali Corsi scored two of the three goals in Penn’s last victory and she has almost half of the team’s points this season.
“Their game is full of finesse. They have a lot of speed on both outside wings, so we have to have our backs ready to go on the outside,” said Coach Tambroni of her defensive game plan.
As seen in the Red’s win against Colgate, the defense has been working well.
Junior back Melissa Wannop and sophomore back Sarah Nordstrom will be marked up against the Quakers’ big offense, but the Red will be counting on the entire defensive line to halt the attacks from the other side of the field.
Practice this week has been basic. Focusing on fundamentals and defense, the Red has come to the practice field with a ton of energy and a competitive attitude. Everyone is excited about the upcoming match and each player is fighting for a spot on the field and a chance to score.
To beat the Quakers, Cornell must put forth a strong team effort and every player must play well.
“We really need to capitalize on possession of the ball and on using our speed to take advantage of their youthful defense,” said Tambroni of her team’s goals.
McMahon is confident that the Big Red will be backed with great support at Schoellkopf on Sunday.
“I think the team is so excited to finally play at home,” said McMahon. “We’ve been on the road for the last three weeks and we’re excited to show our friends and families and everyone at Cornell how awesome we are.”
Archived article by Kelli Larsen