The Cornell women’s soccer team lost another close game to a formidable Penn team on Saturday. The Quakers beat a depleted Red squad 2-0 off two second half goals, leaving both teams with a 1-1 record in the Ivy League.
The Red, playing without five players in its normal rotation, outplayed Penn in the first half of the game but once again could not muster a goal.
Cornell’s struggles were only deepened when Cailin Rice, one of Cornell’s most consistent performers this season, went out early in the game’s first period.
“We just couldn’t finish up front,” commented junior co-captain Sarah Olsen, “but even after [the injury to Rice], we kept up the intensity and kept on fighting.”
Going into half time, it seemed as if the Red was just one lucky bounce away from breaking the game open. However, it was Penn that capitalized early in the second half — scoring in the game’s 51st minute.
Junior Heather Taylor scored the game-winning goal off assists from Penn’s rookie offensive machine Katy Cross and sophomore forward Ayla Gustafson.
Penn’s second goal came just fifteen minutes later when a questionable late call set up a penalty kick for the Quakers. Tri-captain Jen Valentine did the honors for Penn, putting the penalty shot out of the reach of Cornell freshman goalie Katie Thomas.
The goal broke Cornell’s back and the booters were unable to respond with their own opportunities in the game’s final minutes.
Penn out-shot the Red 16-10 on the day and also held a 5-3 advantage in corner kicks.
The Quakers played a very physical game, which seems to be a constant point of attack from Cornell’s opponents this season. Penn’s physical dominance of a relatively young team was apparent in the 24 fouls it racked up on Saturday.
Thomas, Cornell’s rookie wall in goal, had another promising effort with 8 saves. However, Penn’s Vanessa Scotto was just as effective in her win, making 7 saves in her sixth shutout of this young season.
The loss is the third for a Red squad that has been winless since Sept. 26th.
“We have been playing so well, especially [on Saturday],” Andeberhan said, “but soccer can be cruel and doesn’t always reward the better team.”
Regardless of the streak, the team’s attitude remains optimistic as each game seems to produce drastic improvements for the lady booters.
And with this week’s return of stars Cailin Rice, Caitlin Ramsey, and Alicia Doolittle the Red is looking forward to regaining the momentum it had earlier this season.
“We still know we can play with anyone,” Olson was quick to point out, “and now we just need to make sure we are giving the same amount of intensity with each game.”
A Cornell team that has come together during this rash of injuries, unlucky bounces, and unfavorable calls hosts Army today at 4pm.
“We have really been able to rally around these disastrous things with composure,” finished Andeberhan. “The wonderful foolishness that brings a team together will pay off for this team.”
It would be complete foolishness to write this team off just yet, it is poised to regain its early season form and do so convincingly.
Archived article by Scott Jones