Striker Alicia Doolittle enjoyed Ivy Rookie of the Week honors as the Cornell women’s soccer team (1-8, 1-3 Ivy) erased a six-game losing streak with a split at the Harvard Invitational.
A desperate goal in the waning seconds of Friday’s 3-1 loss to Harvard (6-2, 2-0 Ivy) and a hat trick in a Sunday’s 5-1 thrashing of the University of Vermont (3-10, 1-3 America East) brought the weekend tally to four for the hard-working freshman.
“I’ve been through the whole season without scoring a goal, so that felt kind of good,” Doolittle said.
Despite the underdog status and a 5-0 loss to Harvard last year at home, a spirited Cornell squad managed to play the Crimson even for the first 45 minutes.
Within two minutes into the second half, however, Harvard forward Colleen Moore took a cross from midfielder Olea Ripmaster and poked it past ‘keeper Martha Shaughnessy to open up the scoring.
Shaughnessy snagged a total of nine saves, but allowed two goals within the last four minutes that put the game out of reach for the Red. Harvard goalie Cheryl Gunther needed to record only three saves, as her defense consistently kept the ball out of danger.
Harvard’s attempt at a second straight shutout fell just short, however, when Doolittle got the Red the board with just 48 seconds left in the game. Dribbling through midfield and approaching the box, she launched a high floater that found the right side of the net.
“Harvard’s probably the toughest competition we’ll see this season,” junior captain Julie DeMichele said. “We played pretty good too. We never gave up, and that’s one great thing about our team. We played very well against them, and I think we could have had them.”
Cornell’s other senior goalkeeper Meghan Cauzillo started Sunday against the Catamounts, but could not save a defensive miscue that put the Red down 1-0 at 5:13. But the Cornell strikers kept their calm and exposed the Vermont backfield for five unanswered goals.
“Since we lost almost all our games by one goal, we knew we could not lose that game,” Doolittle said.
“We knew we they weren’t going to win, and we were so confident that we were going to win,” DeMichele added. “Once we scored one, we just scored a bunch.”
Doolittle started the scoring spree unassisted at 22:03 and sophomore Sarah Olsen earned the Cornell the lead at 36:15. Freshman Emily Knight converted midfielder Stephanie Setyadi’s pass through the defense at 54:52 before Doolittle added two more at 68:13 and 77:04 to complete the hat trick.
Both Olsen and Doolittle received all-tournament honors.
“Everything just worked,” Doolittle explained. “I got more opportunities from the halfbacks, and we had more shots than we ever had. I just took the shots. I haven’t really trusted myself, and I’ve spent too much time setting up. This time I just took them.”
The Red comes back to Berman Field to play its first night game of the season tomorrow at 7:00 p.m., hosting Syracuse.
Archived article by Simon Chan