Saturday afternoon, the sun did not shine in Providence, R.I. on the Cornell women’s field hockey team (7-6 overall, 3-2 Ivy) as it fell to Brown (7-6 overall, 1-4 Ivy) by a score of 5-1.
After Brown’s harrowing shutout of the Big Red last year, the squad hoped to show the Bears a winning team, but was unsuccessful.
“We didn’t play our best game. We had a tough time with our momentum and we didn’t achieve our goals in terms of beating them up the right and having a good passing game,” head coach Michelle Tambroni said of her team’s performance.
Practices last week focused on the Big Red defense in order to shut down the Bears’ talented attack. Throughout the game, however, Brown’s offense dominated.
Overall, Brown outshot Cornell 26-3 and racked up eleven penalty corners against the Red’s three.
“Defensively, we had flat feet. Brown took advantage of our weaknesses. They picked up every loose ball that was available to them and we gave them way too many,” Tambroni commented.
First lighting up the scoreboard at 2:15, Brown went on to score three more goals in the first half of play. The opposition’s scoring ended 23 seconds into the second half, but the damage had been done.
In the last half, the Red’s only goal came when junior forward Ashleigh Snelson found the net on a penalty corner with assists from senior captain Kate McMahon and freshman midfielder Karleigh Burns.
Cornell had three penalty corner chances and scored once. If the Big Red had been able to press in the circle, then it may have seen more scoring opportunities.
From the beginning, the Big Red was not destined to win. Sophomore forward Anna Starkey, who leads the team in scoring, stayed in Ithaca with the flu, while sophomore forward Sarah Rosenbaum also did not play. Missing two important offensive players, the Red was not fully equipped for this match.
To fill the offensive gap, sophomore forward Annie O’Rourke was assigned the important position of center forward.
“Annie did a good job out there, but we just didn’t have the goal output that we needed,” Tambroni said of Starkey’s absence.
Maureen “Mo” Sullivan started in the goal for the Red, but freshman goalkeeper Kaitlin Tierney finished off the game. Together, the goalkeepers tallied fourteen saves and played well behind their defensive players.
Despite this loss, it still may be possible for the Red to get a share of the Ivy title. After this weekend’s league matches, the Big Red is currently tied for third place with Dartmouth, while Harvard fell into second place and Princeton earned the top spot. Cornell has two remaining Ivy games and a chance to better its position among the Ancient Eight.
“We learn from every loss and every win. We had a great practice [yesterday] and reevaluated what we did wrong against Brown. Hopefully, we can turn around and take care of Bucknell this week by playing our smart passing game and trying to execute more than two passes in a row,” added Tambroni.
The team is not satisfied with its performance against Brown, but it hopes to finish off the season with wins in order to secure a solid standing in the Ivy League.
“I think the team was really discouraged after the game, but they took the 24 hours to let it settle and they came in really fired up for practice. They have good heads on their shoulders and they know that they just didn’t play well and that things just didn’t go our way,” Tambroni said.
Archived article by Kelli Larsen