It’s been a season of almosts for the Cornell women’s soccer team.
Its 1-3, 1-0 Ivy record going into last weekend did not do justice to the young, talented team. Two of the three losses were only by one goal, and the other came against nationally ranked Penn State. Friday, the women hosted Fresno State in their home opener, and followed yesterday against Pennsylvania. Cornell reached a familiar result in both games, losing 1-0 and 2-1 respectively.
Friday, Martha Shaugnessy started in goal for the first time this season against Fresno State. The game turned into a defensive struggle early on, as the Bulldogs maintained possession for the majority of the first half.
The Red was able to squelch the Fresno attack until 28 minutes into the first half. Fresno forward Kristi Nicholls booted a shot into the crossbar, sending Shaugnessy diving right. Fresno’s all-time leading scorer, Jill Pearson, shot the rebound into the left of the net for the first goal of the game.
The Red entered the second half revived, but was unable to capitalize. At 75:30 mark in the game it looked as if Cornell would tie. Freshman forward Alicia Doolittle broke through the Fresno defense and rifled the ball from inside the right corner of the box. Unfortunately the Bulldog goalie countered Doolittle’s shot with an equally impressive save at the center of the net.
Fresno outshot the Red 15-6 while Martha Shaugnessy had four saves.
“The first half was played poorly,” coach Berhane Andeberhan said of the Fresno game. “The second half was much better.
“I congratulate [the team] and thank them because they played very strongly in the second half especially when you’re in the hole like that. Still it was an unfortunate goal that we gave up in the first half.”
Yesterday, the women came out to a saturated Berman Field to play Ivy rival Penn. Cornell took command of the game early on with outstanding play from its midfielders and forwards alike. The Red showered Penn with shots from outside the box, but could not get the ball through the crowded Penn backfield. Even though Cornell outplayed Penn, the game remained scoreless at halftime.
Things took a turn for the worse for the Red in the second half. Penn scored on senior goalie Meghan Cauzillo at 53:05. 23 minutes later Penn widened its lead when Penn midfielder Jennifer Valentine rifled a shot into the back of the net. Cauzillo had no chance to stop it.
The Red continued to fight valiantly. Finally Cornell got on the board with 2:50 left. Sophomore midfielder Sarah Olsen received a pass from Doolittle and sent it over the leaping Penn goalie.
The Red continued to fire at Penn and almost tied the game when junior sweeper Ellen Daly shot over the crossbar by inches.
Even though the Red outshot Penn 24-11, Cornell was unable to capture a
“Basically we stuck to our game plan,” Erica Olson said. “We had good chances we just couldn’t capitalize on them.”
“This game was a heartbreaker,” Andeberhan admitted. “There were a lot of scoring chances. The girls played a smart game. I was pleased with the way they played.”
Cornell has fallen to a 1-5, 1-1 Ivy record, but Andeberhan has much confidence in his young team as its continues its season.
“The experience will come, and then the chances will fall.”
Archived article by Amanda Angel