March 25, 2002

W. lax starts Ivy slate with 16-4 win over Columbia

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Despite typical Ithaca weather, the women’s lacrosse team (5-0, 1-0 Ivy) made sure to have a bright spring break. The team took full advantage of the holiday, winning three games, including two over nationally ranked opponents.

“We’re glad we came off spring break 3-0,” senior goaltender Carrie Giancola said.

No. 10 Cornell started break on the right foot last Friday with its home opener at Schoellkopf Field. The Red started out its Ivy season in style, hammering Columbia, 16-4, on a warm March afternoon.

The game looked bleak for the Lions from the beginning. Cornell kept the ball in Columbia’s defensive zone for the first seven minutes of regulation, scoring five times in the first five minutes of play. From there, the Red never looked back, rampaging its way to a 9-1 lead at the half.

It was more of the same in the second. Senior Jaimee Reynolds scored two minutes into the half to run the score to 10-1 before the Lions could score again. The Red suffered no loss of intensity for the length of the period, outscoring Columbia 7-3.

Reynolds led the way for Cornell with two goals in each half and an assist in the second. Sophomore Kate Hirshfield scored three times and earned an assist for the afternoon to back up Reynolds. Seniors Beth Calder, Katie McCorry and junior Sarah Anderson each tallied pairs of goals.

The Red outshot Columbia 32-12 and scored on four of seven free position shots.

Giancola picked up three saves and allowed two goals. Sophomore Ashley Charron came in for the last 13 minutes to finish off the game for Cornell. She made two saves and allowed two goals.

On Tuesday, the Red took its momentum to South Bend, Indiana to face No. 15 Notre Dame.

“The action was intense,” said head coach Jenny Graap.

Five minutes into the game, the score was locked at 1-1 after a free position shot by the Irish. Cornell stepped up to produce four straight goals. Notre Dame managed another two scores, but the Red finished the half with another three points to put the score at 8-3.

After ten minutes of scoreless play at the beginning of the second half, the Irish fought back with a vengeance, outscoring Cornell 5-1 to leave the score at 9-8 with ten minutes to go in the game.

According to Graap, the Red regrouped in a timeout and came out firing.

Sophomore Jaime Quinn found Reynolds in front of the net for the team’s tenth goal of the game, giving Cornell a valuable cushion.

Reynolds paced the Red again with three goals and an assist on offense and added a team-best three turnovers on defense. Quinn had a pair of first half scores in addition to her assist in the second. Freshman Lindsay Steinberg netted her first collegiate goal in the first.

Graap tabbed Giancola as the star of the game for keeping Cornell in the contest Saturday as Cornell played No. 18 Penn in another nail-biter. It didn’t start out that way, though. After giving up the game’s initial point, Cornell pounded the Quakers to gain a 5-1 lead by halftime.

Much like the Notre Dame though, Penn wouldn’t lay down. The Quakers fought their way back 12 minutes into the game with a 5-1 run over 11 minutes to tie the game at 6-6 with seven minutes to go. The teams traded goals to make it 7-7 with 2:21 left, then 8-8 with 60 seconds on the clock.

The Red won 12 of 19 draw controls for the day, and the team came out on top when it counted. After Penn’s final tying goal, Cornell earned the ball. Senior Sarah Fischer made a move from behind the net into the middle and netted the ball to earn the Red a win.

Leading the Red on offense, Averson had three goals and an important assist in the second half. Reynolds made a key goal and added another assist to put Cornell up the first two times the Quakers tied the game in the second.

The close games against Notre Dame and Penn reinforced an important aspect of the Red this year: the team’s poise. The team knows how to work the ball, take its time and play well in the clutch.

Giancola summed it up succinctly.

“They showed we have the maturity and the drive to win the close game,” she said.

She noted, however, that as positive as the week’s victories were, they were also bittersweet.

“We were not all that pleased with our play,” she said. “We could have and should have done better.”

Next week, the Red seeks to remain unbeaten against an even tougher opponent on the road, No. 2 Princeton. Cornell will try to avenge its first round elimination from the NCAA tournament by the Tigers last year.

“We’re trying not to differentiate between opponents,” said Giancola.

However, she also noted that the team realized the importance of the game.

“Everyone has to be going into Saturday’s game pumped up,” she said, “with a winning attitude.”

Archived article by Matt James