November 3, 2000

Women's Soccer Get One Final Opportunity

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The Cornell women’s soccer team (3-13, 1-5 Ivy) has one last chance tomorrow to turn around its unfortunate season.

After many twists of fate in the Red’s season full of could-have-beens and almost-weres, the women want to redeem their luckless season. Tomorrow Dartmouth (12-4, 5-1 Ivy) comes to the East Hill for an 11:00 a.m. game on Berman Field.

The Red entered into a bittersweet campaign in August. No was sure what the fall would hold for the team. First of all, a new coaching staff headed by Berhane Andeberhan assumed control of the team. Secondly, last year’s leading scorer, Sophia Smith could not return after invasive knee surgery. The already young team was joined by a crop of new freshman full of potential, but nonetheless inexperienced.

At points the Red exhibited its brilliance. Freshmen strikers Alicia Doolittle and Emily Knight have proven themselves with a combined 21 points. Sophomore Sarah Olsen, the Red’s leading scorer and 9th in the Ivies has also been solid all year. But all the positives can’t compensate for the team’s overall record.

The Red has been a formidable competitor in most of its Ivy League games. The games against Yale, Penn, Brown, were all described as heartbreakers after the Red could not come up with the tying goal. Most recently, though, the team lost to Princeton 2-0 after holding the then first-placed Ivy League team scoreless into the final ten minutes.

The young team’s inexperience has been blamed for many of the opposing goals. Under Andeberhan’s leadership Cornell has consistently gained experience and improved its overall play.

“We don’t have the most impressive win-loss record” Doolittle confessed. “It would be impressive going out with a win against the first team in the Ivies. We want to end on a win anyway.”

And as of last weekend, Dartmouth is tied with Princeton for first place. After losing in double overtime to Hartford the Green rebounded with wins against Harvard last Saturday and Brown last Wednesday. After the upset over the Crimson, Dartmouth moved up two spots in the NSCAA poll to No. 19.

If the past helps in determining the future, the Red will have a challenge in front of itself. Dartmouth routed Cornell 4-0, last year in Hanover, N.H.

In order to stop history from repeating, the Red will need to contain Dartmouth’s Jessica Post. She is the third-leading scorer in the Ivies accumulating 21 points on 7 goals and 7 assists. She also received Ivy player of the week honors for her two goals in the Green’s game last weekend.

The women will also have to retain their concentration for the entire ninety minutes of the game. Dartmouth will take advantage of any lapse in concentration.

But the women have their pride at stake. They know what it is to be the underdog, and are comfortable in that position. The Red has been competitive with many of the elite teams in the nation, such as Penn State and it is confident that it can win against any of those teams.

“We’ll go out there and try our hardest, that is all we can do,” Doolittle said.

Archived article by Amanda Angel