Orange and black are the dominating colors on any Halloween evening, and unfortunately for the Cornell field hockey team (8-8, 3-3 Ivy), this year’s October 31st was no different. Sixth-ranked Princeton (12-3, 6-0 Ivy) kept offensive pressure on freshman goalie Kaitlin Tierney throughout the contest, finding the back of the cage six times despite a stellar 20-save effort by the rookie.
“Kaitlin did great. She really rose to the occasion, she knew what she was up against. She had a lot of shots, but she had a lot of saves. I thought she did a great job, as a freshman out there,” head coach Michelle Tambroni said.
Tierney started the game in relief of senior Maureen Sullivan, who was sidelined with a concussion.
The loss had a strong impact on the Ivy League leaderboard, eliminating the Red from the race for first, while at the same time assuring Princeton of at least a share of the Ancient Eight title. This year marks the seventh straight Ivy crown for the Tigers, an unprecedented achievement.
Princeton got on the board early via a penalty stroke goal by All-Ivy senior Melanie Meerschwam at the 29 second mark. Classmate Kellie Maul took a pass from Meerschwam later in the half to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead at the halfway point.
Princeton senior Hilary Matson opened the second half by scoring on a pair of corners, adding to her league-leading point total. Then junior Ashleigh Snelson struck on a penalty corner for Cornell against the league’s stingiest defense. The assists went to senior co-captain Kate McMahon along with freshman Carissa Mirasol. Snelson’s goal was the first for the Big Red against the Tigers since 1995.
“I don’t remember the last time we’ve actually scored on Princeton, so I think that’s exciting for us, to put one on the board,” Tambroni noted. “Our first corner, we scored on, so I was really psyched about that, because we work on those every day.”
The momentum shift didn’t last long, though. Less than a minute later, Meerschwam picked up her second goal of the game to regain the four-point Tiger lead, and freshman Cory Picketts iced the win with 7:31 left on the clock.
Cornell had a lot of new faces on the field in yesterday’s game, thanks to an injury-depleted roster. But Tambroni saw the opportunity to have some young blood face off against a strong program as a positive one.
“It’s an unbelievable experience, to put a freshman out there against a top-10 team. It’s going to take this program places,” Tambroni remarked. “Even the seniors are admiring how well their freshmen did, and they’re very proud.”
Archived article by Alex Fineman