In a terribly physical affair that lacked much ball possession or offensive flair, the Cornell women’s soccer team and Colgate finished in a 1-1 tie last night. The defensive struggle pitted two contrasting styles: the Red’s fluid building game and the Raider’s rugged attack.
Cornell started the match well, controlling most of the action in the early portion of the first half. The Red seemed quicker to every loose ball, and won every fifty-fifty battle. Junior midfielder Caitlin Ramsey was especially effective. Her track speed gave her a distinct advantage on the right side of the field and allowed her to create several scoring opportunities.
The home team got its first scoring opportunity of the game in the 20th minute. Ramsey took a long pass down the right side and made a beautiful cross through the box. Senior midfielder Andrea Madison settled the ball, but was stoned on a brilliant save by Colgate keeper Kate Jassin.
Several minutes later, however, Cornell would open the scoring. Captain junior midfielder Sarah Olsen and sophomore forward Alicia Doolittle combined on a perfect give-and-go at the top of the box. Olsen took Doolittle’s pass and deposited the ball into the lower left corner of the net at 22:06.
After falling into the hole, the Raiders stepped up the physical play. They effectively turned the game into a wrestling match, frustrating the Red the remainder of the first half.
Coach Berhane Andeberhan emphasized the contrasting styles.
“There was a little bit of rough stuff there. We were trying to keep our team composed, and I think we did a good job of that. When we were playing a nice combination game, we tended to dominate the game, and they disrupted that by playing a more physical game.”
Colgate carried its aggressive style into the second half and began to put pressure on the Cornell defense. Eight minutes into the second stanza, the Raiders broke through, as Kristi Woodworth equalized the score with a tap-in goal. Colgate’s Angela Puliafico sent a corner kick towards the net which Cornell keeper, freshman Katie Thomas batted down. A skirmish ensued in the penalty area, with Laura Erickson sliding the ball to Woodworth, who had a wide open target.
Less than four minutes later, Puliafico nearly put the Raiders ahead. After gaining possession of the ball 35 yards away from goal, she weaved through four defenders and delivered a booming shot just inside the box. The shot beat Thomas, but was rejected by the post.
The rest of the half and overtime was a defensive struggle. Cornell was unable to make use of Ramsay’s speed on the right side, as Colgate made a defensive adjustment.
“They put their fastest player on her and they manhandled her,” Andeberhan said. “They got called for it sometimes, and not others.”
“While Cornell was unable to score, the squad must receive credit for limiting the Raiders to one goal. The defense played well once again, as defenders seniors Ellen Daly and Julie DeMichele, and sophomores Karne Hukee and Lindsay Rovegno were solid in front of Thomas. The freshman keeper had her fourth straight strong outing, finishing with seven saves.
Andeberhan recognized the good defensive effort.
“Our offense was not what we liked but we played consistent defense.”
Although Cornell did not win its home opener, it showed fans on East Hill that it has improved dramatically. The team will get another chance to get it first home win this Saturday against Stony Brook.
Archived article by Alex Ip