The Cornell women’s soccer team finally found the back of the net, but its slide continued.
The Red, winless in its last five matches, dropped a 3-2 heartbreaker to Army despite rallying from an early two-goal deficit.
Cornell came out in the first twenty minutes and played with reckless abandon. It won almost every fifty-fifty ball, and for the most part, the action was found on Army’s end of the field. Junior midfielder Caitlin Ramsey continually burned Army’s left fullback and made several dangerous crosses across the box. However, the Black Knights’ defensive unit seemed to gather every loose ball in the penalty area, thus thwarting Cornell.
“We really came out and played hard in the first half today,” junior co-captain Sarah Olsen said.
Army got its first scoring chance in the 26th minute and capitalized. The Black Knights’ Emily Nay sent a dangerous free kick toward the box that was headed in by teammate Kelly Schachtler. Schachtler elevated high above the Red defenders and deposited the ball over the outstretched arms of freshman keeper Katie Thomas and into the top right corner of the net.
The Black Knights extended its lead to 2-0 just fifteen minutes into the second half. Senior Karen Tien had a one-on-one opportunity against Thomas and made no mistake. She deftly dribbled around the rookie keeper and shot into the open net.
The Red fought back to tie the game in the 73rd minute. Olsen notched her team-leading third goal of the season, and Cornell’s first goal in its last 332 minutes to halve the deficit. The co-captain scored the unassisted goal off of a rebound, and ended Army goalkeeper Sara Johnson’s streak of 425 consecutive scoreless minutes.
“The ball came out to me at the 18 and I just shot it,” Olsen recalled.
Just 29 seconds later, Cornell shocked the Black Knights by scoring the equalizer. Senior forward Erica Olson made a beautiful pass to freshman Kelly Hess, who struck the ball from 15 yards out.
Unfortunately, the ecstasy derived from tying the game would not last long. With five minutes remaining in regulation, Army regained the lead on the backs of two seniors. Tien fed classmate Randee Farell who netted the game-winner.
After the tough loss, Cornell players were undoubtedly disappointed.
“We were really disappointed,” Olsen stated. “We felt that we should have won this game.”
Coach Berhane Andeberhan attributed the loss to his team’s youth.
“We showed that we’re inexperienced and gave up some cheap goals,” he noted. “We played really well but gave up two ‘unearned goals’. It is maddening, because I know they have the desire and commitment, but it looks careless.”
However, Andeberhan was also quick to praise his team’s rally.
“We showed tremendous courage to come back from two goals down. We got some excellent shots from Sarah and Kelly, and those goals were no cheapies. They really smashed them.”
Although the team has skidded recently, the team’s quality of play has continually improved. This improvement has generated higher expectations which have yet to be reached.
“The team is improving a lot,” Andeberhan said. “It’s so unfair. I feel that they should be rewarded. We’re in every game, but in the end, you still have to win.”
The Red will get its next chance to win homecoming weekend against Harvard.
Archived article by Alex Ip