September 28, 2001

Someone You Can Hang Your Hat on

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“She’s got a foot in everything.”

“Everything runs smoother when she is around.”

Those are two of many complements handed to Cornell field hockey’s senior co-captain and second team regional All-American Ashleigh Snelson. Her head coach Michelle Tambroni believes her to be one of the “best Ivy League players.”

“She knows everything about the other coaches and their teams,” she exclaimed.

Tambroni knows this because coming out of high school the Mountaintop, Penn. native was one of the top Ivy League recruits, with Cornell and Harvard avidly competing for her.

“It was so exciting to get her over Harvard,” Tambroni said.

And Snelson’s abilities brought immediate impacts to the team. Playing in 13 games and starting in six of them her freshman year, she had two assists. She won the Class of ’91 cup, given every year to the most promising rookie.

Snelson scored her first goal her sophomore year and tied her former assist total of four points while playing in and starting in all 17 games. But her presence in the offense grew dramatically as she notched 40 shots during the 1999 campaign.

It wasn’t until her junior yearthough, that Snelson would become one of the elite players in the Ivies. She blew up for six goals and three assists — a total of 15 points. Four goals came in league play including one against both 1999 Ivy league champion Brown and eventual 2000 champion Princeton Tigers. For her offensive accomplishments, she won the 2000 All-Ivy most valuable player award for offense.

“She scored the winner against Lehigh,” assistant coach Lisa Kadien said citing one of Snelson’s memorable plays. “She has a big presence on the field.”

Snelson needs just nine points to move in to the top 10 all-time scoring list at Cornell.

Her career has been slowed at times by a variety of injuries, most recently coming on Saturday against Ivy-rival Yale when she suffered a deep gash on her knee. However, the chance of her missing her second start in three years isn’t likely. Her coaches say that she has never backed down and always fights through the pain.

“She has been on-and-off with injuries, but she’ll play through anything,” Tambroni said.

Though the gash might have done some muscle damage, Tambroni believes she’ll back in 10 days, but thinks, knowing Snelson, that she’ll be back for today’s game against Columbia.

Not limiting her leadership to the Schoellkopf turf, Snelson is also a true campus leader. She is a member of the Red Key Society, a Cornell Tradition Fellow, and is part of the exclusive Quill and Dagger society. She also plans on graduating a semester early in December.

Snelson stands out for her vocal style of play and her powerful shot. She will be an integral part of Tambroni’s 1-3-2-3-1 offense, which puts a great deal of pressure on the forwards to perform — Pressure the senior willingly accepts.

Snelson is a model Cornell athlete, both for her achievements on and off the field, and for the past four years has been the stand out field hockey star for the Red.

Archived article by Josh Vlasto