The revitalized Cornell women’s soccer team (2-9, 1-3 Ivy) braved the cold October evening to face Syracuse (10-5) on Berman Field last night. It wanted revenge after falling last year to the Orange 2-1. The Red did not get it.
The well-matched duel came to an abrupt end 2:53 into overtime when Syracuse’s Molly Shmelzle ripped a shot under the crossbar and over senior netminder Meghan Cauzillo’s fingers. The final score read 2-1.
The Red asserted itself early against the stifling Syracuse defense. The Orange already has eight shutouts behind sophomore goalie Katie Karlander.
The two freshmen strikers were not intimidated, though. Alicia Doolittle, who leads Cornell scoring with nine points, had four shots in the contest while classmate Emily Knight had an impressive seven.
The Red looked sharp and controlled the ball for most of the first half. The Orangewomen also challenged Cauzillo. However, the game was scoreless after 45 minutes as both goalies did their best impression of brick walls.
Both teams resumed the same intensity of play well into the second half. As the temperature dropped, the play became sloppier.
Syracuse took advantage of loose defensive transition 62:04 after a corner kick opportunity failed. Cauzillo blocked Courtney Spencer’s shot, but was unable to field Christine LeMieux’s rebound into the left of the net from across the box.
The Red continued to pressure the SU defense. Six minutes after LeMieux’s shot, sophomore midfielder Sarah Olsen dribbled the ball down the side lines and found an open Knight in the center of the field. Knight beat Karlander with a shot just to her right, tying the game.
The celebration of the goal was short-lived as Doolittle lay hurt on the ground. She eventually walked off the field under her own power, and would re-enter the game at 85:05.
The remainder of the game was a stalemate as neither team was able to go ahead. Syracuse threatened with 20 seconds left but as sophomore Cailin Rice recovered the ball overtime seemed inevitable.
Both teams picked up where they left in overtime. The Cornell defense that played so valiantly in regulation could not contain the Syracuse offense.
“I wanted to keep the defense organized, especially in the first two minutes of overtime,” Cauzillo said. “That is when a team is most vulnerable.”
Cauzillo accomplished organizing her defense for a couple of minutes but could not hold off the Orangewomen for much longer. Before the third minute of overtime, the ball rolled over her fingers into the goal.
“The ball was right on my hand,” she bemoaned. “I thought that it was a save for sure.”
Coach Berhane Andeberhan was not as upset as most of the team as he expressed his pleasure with his team’s play.
“I’m delighted with the way we played,” Berhane opined.
“We’ve had our limitations in other games we played,” he added. “Today there were no limitations.”
Nevertheless the Red felt cheated.
“We truly deserved to win this game,” Berhane commented.
Cauzillo agreed, “Syracuse was really lucky to get away with a win.”
The team will have little time to rest as it prepares to face Stony Brook tomorrow at noon on Long Island.
Archived article by Amanda Angel