The Cornell field hockey team has emerged for the 2001 season with new faces, a new focus and the determination that will make the Red a serious contender in the Ivy League. Cornell finished last year tied for fourth with an 8-9 (3-4 Ivy) record. Head coach Michelle Tambroni and the rest of the Red hope to build on the 2000 campaign and take their game to the next level. The challenge this season for the Red will be trying to incorporate the veterans and rookies to successfully execute the newly designed game plan with the offense being the primary focus.
“Our new system is 1-3-2-3-1,” Tambroni explained. “This formation allows us to be more offensively motivated, more physical, and allows us to focus more closely on marking.”
Senior co-captain Ashleigh Snelson is the centerpiece of the Red’s offensive attack. She will act as the main hitter on penalty corners. Combining speed and athletic prowess, the all-around player often gives her opponents trouble on the playing field. Snelson’s leadership abilities and communication on the field paint the backdrop for success.
Tambroni will look up to sophomores Carissa Marisol and Lindsay Grace and juniors Annie O’Rourke and Samantha Ade in assisting Snelson on offense. With talented passers and incredible speed on the attack, the Red is sure to challenge the great defenses of its opponents.
The midfield will be led by junior Sarah Rosenbaum. She will undoubtedly contribute in all facets of the team. She succeeds in the attack, but also helps contributes on the defensive end. Being a diehard competitor she will be a leader in the Red’s quest for an Ivy League championship.
Joining Rosenbaum is a corps of speedy and highly agile players who will provide the team with much versatility. Returning sophomores Karleigh Burns and Sommer Costabile will both add power to the midfield squad. Juniors Laura Barndt and Dana Kindermann will provide much needed leadership and experience to the midfield equation. Their great awareness of the open field and their stick handling abilities will only add to the young and talented midfield.
While her counterpart directs the attack, the other senior co-captain, Melissa Wannop, patrols the backfield as either center back or right back. Along with her ability to fill many of the Red’s needs, she also brings a strong work ethic and competitive spirit. In addition, Wannop has been integrated into the offense more than in past years and with her valuable passing skills she can lead an offensive surge. Last season, Wannop played in 15 games, starting in all but one.
Junior Sarah Nordstrom and sophomores Kelly Soltis, Kimmy Gardner, and Ali Winsky will be sure to contribute greatly on defense. Their tackling, marking and explosive speed will provide problems for the opponent’s offense.
Sophomore goalkeeper Kaitlin Tierney is a terror in goal. She has been very reliable so far this year for the Red with four wins in five attempts. She rose to the occasion last year when Tambroni called on her to replace injured goaltender Maurie Sullivan ’01. As a result, Tierney received valuable experience in collegiate play. Since then, she has done a phenomenal job in net and hopefully, for Cornell will continue to impress as the season progresses.
The newest class to don the carnelian and white has added a significant amount of talent to the team. Although the freshmen haven’t experienced much collegiate level field hockey, they are ready for the challenge and will fit in nicely with the Red’s game plan.
Cornell is off to a fast start this year, winning four of five. The team had an outstanding showing this past weekend by winning 4-3 in a dramatic game against Yale and a nail-biter against Rhode Island the the next dual which the Red won, 1-0.
Off the field, Tambroni gave birth last weekend to a daughter, Carissa Lynn, but should be back on the field coaching the Red as soon as possible.
Archived article by Andrew Knauer