It’s the same old story for the women’s soccer team.
On Saturday, the Red (2-12, 1-4 Ivy) traveled to Providence, R.I., to face third-ranked Brown (11-2, 3-1), and achieved a familiar result. The Bears won 2-1. The Red has been looking for that one elusive goal all season. This weekend’s game marked the third time that Cornell lost an Ivy contest by the same score. It was the fifth-time overall.
The Red had to come from behind from the start of the game. Before the first full minute of play, Brown’s leading scorer, junior Kim Lanzier, tapped a pass that beat senior netminder Meghan Cauzillo to put the Bears up 1-0.
But the Red stifled the Brown offense after the initial wake-up call. The defense kept the ball in the Red’s possession for much of the half while anchoring many of the Red’s scoring chances. Despite 44 solid minutes of play, the Red entered halftime trailing.
When play resumed, both teams carried over the same defensive game.
Sophomore midfielder Sarah Olsen finally broke the scoring drought. Olsen, the Red’s second-highest scorer and the backbone of the team, put Cornell on the board at 66:45. She took a pass at midfield from freshman striker Emily Knight. Olsen shook off the Brown defenders, and converted on a shot out of reach of goalkeeper Sarah Gervais’ outstretched arms.
A few minutes later, the Red had the chance to go up on the Bears. Knight took the ball down the field and shot a rocket into the right of the net. Gervais countered with an equally impressive save.
“Emily had one of her best games,” head coach Berhane Andeberhan said. “She had the best shot of the game, also.”
The defense-dominated match looked like it would be destined for overtime as in the case of two of the Red’s last three games. However, Brown thought otherwise.
Lanzier scored her second goal of the contest at 84:40 to give Brown the permanent lead.
As usual, Andeberhan saw the glass half-full, “We probably played our best game,” he said.
Brown is one of the top-three teams in the Ivy League. It beat perennial Ivy League favorite and first-place club, Harvard. The Crimson had beaten the seventh-ranked Red earlier this month, 3-1. On paper, Brown was heavily favored.
But the young Cornell team refused to let the standings dictate its play. Coming off a less than stellar performance against Navy last Tuesday, Andeberhan only had two practices to polish up the team before it headed off to Providence.
“Everything we practiced, we put into work,” Andeberhan said. “It worked like we wanted to.”
For example, Brown relies on scoring goals off of corner kicks. But Andeberhan installed a defense to counter against the Bears’ set plays. The Red’s did not allow any goals off of corner kicks.
“That is how they beat Harvard,” Andeberhan said. “But we gave them nothing.”
The women also saw improved scoring chances behind Knight, Olsen , and freshman striker Alicia Doolittle. The two Brown goalies notched 10 saves, while Cauzillo had six.
“There were three or four errors,” Andeberhan pointed out. “We have a tendency to give up cheap goals.”
Perhaps the mix of inexperience and a new coaching staff has caused the Red’s inability to convert in high-pressure situations. The team attributes much to bad luck also.
Unfortunately the Red’s dismal record has ensured its absence from any postseason play. Regardless, the women made a valiant stand against one of the top Ivy League teams and will continue to do so.
“We had to get back to our quality of performance,” Andeberhan said. “We definitely did that.”
Archived article by Amanda Angel