March 15, 2002

W. Lax Starts Ivy Season

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While you’re relaxing over Spring Break, the women’s lacrosse team will be hard at work, playing important Ivy League contests at home today against Columbia and next Saturday against Penn, and traveling to Indiana to take on a tough Notre Dame squad on Tuesday.

Today’s home opener matches the No. 10 Red (2-0, 0-0 Ivy) against the up-and-coming Lions. At 3-0 (0-0), Columbia will hope to ride its current hot streak as it searches for its first-ever Ivy win. These teams last met last Mar. 17, when Cornell defeated the Lions 12-5 at Wein Stadium in New York City.

Columbia features a young team, with 21 underclassmen, including 13 freshmen. The program, currently in its sixth season, has seen a consistent increase in the number of players on the roster each year. Freshman Moira O’Toole and sophomore Ellen Lowery lead the Lions in scoring with 10 and nine points, respectively, in the first three games of the season.

“We’re really excited about [our game against Columbia,]” said head coach Jenny Graap ’86. “It’s our first Ivy game, our first home game, the weather’s supposed to be very nice … all those things make it very positive.”

Also in its sixth season is No. 15 Notre Dame, whom the Red will play for the first time on Tuesday at South Bend, Ind. The Fighting Irish (2-0, 0-0 Big East) are led by sophomore goalie Jen White, whose 4.00 GAA and .724 save percentage have allowed the Notre Dame offense to do its best work. The Irish posted convincing wins over Ohio State and Stanford earlier this season, and will host conference rival Boston College on Sunday before entertaining the Red.

“I see this as our first real big test of the 2002 season,” said Graap. “They’re a strong team and they’ve proven already early in the season that they’re gonna be a team that’s going to contend for the NCAA tournament.”The lady laxers return home on Mar. 23 to host red-hot Penn, who at 2-0 (0-0) is the early surprise of the Ivy League. The No. 16 Quakers upset No. 13 James Madison 10-9 in four overtimes in their season opener and display the amount of talent needed to make some serious noise over the course of the season. Cornell last faced the Quakers last Mar. 23 in Philadelphia, a game which the Red won 10-5. The Red has an 11-15 all-time record against Penn and is the winner of the last four meetings.

“Penn is what Cornell was two or three years ago,” explained Graap, “the up-and-coming team, the one everyone was starting to get afraid of.”

The Quakers, who visit No. 14 Yale and play host to local rival Temple before climbing the Hill next week, also provide a serious challenge to the injury-plagued Red.

“When we face Notre Dame and Penn, we’re facing two teams who’ve never been to the NCAA tournament before but very much want to go and are on the path to get there,” commented Graap. “It’s just gonna be a bigger challenge.”

Archived article by Owen Bochner