With its postseason hopes on the line, the No. 11 Cornell women’s lacrosse team poured its heart onto the field, consequently upsetting No. 7 Yale (10–4, 5–2 Ivy), 11–7 Saturday afternoon in New Haven, Conn.
“We played with more desire and more heart than we have all season,” junior Jaimee Reynolds admitted.
Every player contributed to the victory and there were no traces of the lackluster play that had troubled the team in previous games.
“Even before warm-ups, there was a different kind of energy flowing through the team,” sophomore Katie Lavin explained. “And it carried over to when the game actually started. Right off the bat we set the pace, and that energy made a difference.”
Displaying its intense desire, Cornell (9–3, 4–2) immediately answered Yale’s first goal of the game, when freshman Kate Hirschfield found junior Lori Wohlschlegel, who netted the shot. After giving up another goal, the Red had had enough and scored three goals in a span of 1:05. A deficit that would have taken fifteen minutes to surmount in previous games now vanished in the blink of an eye. Reynolds, and sophomores Sarah Averson and Sarah Fischer gave Cornell a daunting 4-2 lead as well as the unbreakable momentum that came with it.
Hirschfield continued her brilliant play, scoring on a pass from junior co-captain Ginny Miles to give the Red a 5–2 lead. Yale attempted to regroup, scoring a goal before halftime to cut the lead to two, but Cornell was already feeling the victory.
“We looked for each other to score, and we finished our shots,” Reynolds said, describing the difference between this game and the loss to Syracuse three days before. “We looked for each other in transition, and we passed more rather than trying to do it ourselves.”
Yale used the intermission to regain confidence and immediately scored after the break. But determined not to let another victory slip away, the Red scored three more goals in the next nine minutes.
“Fischer started the rally by spinning, dodging and fighting her way through their defense to score our sixth,” described head coach Jenny Graap ’86. “Reynolds increased our margin on a free position goal before sophomore Erica Holveck made an impressive solo drive to the net lifting us to an 8–4 advantage.”
The Red was able to stall for much of the rest of the way and scored three more goals to finish off the Bulldogs.
“It was an amazing feeling,” said Reynolds, remembering the moments after the game. “We want to have that feeling every time we play. We were hugging, and our senior (Sarah McGoey) was crying. She was speechless.”
“There was a lot of yelling and jumping and yelling,” Lavin added. “It was an awesome game. Everyone played awesome. Jenny brought up what was on the line, and it put a fire under us. We had a lot of motivation going into the game. We hadn’t felt that way in a while.”
Cornell now stands tied with Yale for second place in the Ivies. It has two games remaining the season — one against Harvard and one against Johns Hopkins.
“Going into Harvard, we have to keep the fire going. We can’t step down our level of play,” Lavin noted.
If Cornell can take care of business for the remainder of the regular season, its NCAA tournament hopes should fall nicely into place.
Archived article by Sumeet Sarin