April 11, 2002

Fischer Adapts to Leadership Role

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Last year, junior Sarah Fischer was named one of the top 10 sophomore athletes at Cornell for her contributions to the women’s lacrosse team. Playing on the attack, Fischer netted herself 16 goals and made three assists to rank sixth on the team in scoring.

The feat was all the more impressive because after appearing six games and scoring eight points, she missed the second half of her freshman season with a stress fracture.

This year, she has continued her upward trend. In seven games, she’s produced more than she did in 12 last year. She overcame the hurdles in her path earlier in her career, and now her tenacity has begun to pay off in a big way.

She has led the team in scoring against Rutgers in Cornell’s second game of the season, with four goals and an assist, and made one of the top contributions to the Red’s victory over Dartmouth last weekend with three goals and an assist.

Currently, she has 17 goals, good for second on the team, and three assists. Her 20 points puts her in third place on the Red, behind senior Jaimee Reynolds and junior Sarah Averson. She has also started in six of Cornell’s contests.

In the games this year Fisher has frequently drawn some of the top defenders in the country. However, she still manages to break through some of the best stick-skills on the team, consistently making big contributions in all of the Red’s match-ups.

“She understands her ability,” head coach Jenny Graap ’86, said, “She knows what she has to do.”

Senior captain Lori Wohlschlegel summed up Fischer’s improvement over last year succinctly:

“She’s always had a great shot, but this year she perfected it.

“When she’s going to the goal it’s almost impossible to stop her.”

Graap ’86 agreed, noting that Fischer’s most notable asset is the power with which she fires. And while she worries about the Red’s goalies in practices, she’s happy to have Fischer in games.

“[She] has perhaps the hardest shot on the team,” explained Graap, describing her as Cornell’s “deadly weapon.”

“She has the potential to injure,” Graap noted.

Graap further pointed out that her offensive prowess is even more notable because of her background. Fischer hails from Ohio, a state without too much competition in women’s lacrosse, and she was originally recruited as a defender. She only picked up offense after her arrival at Cornell, and she succeeded against a much higher level of play, an impressive achievement.

Fischer adds increasing leadership and a positive, energetic attitude to the team, qualities that have been key to her early season performance and improvement.

With two senior captains, Wohlschlegel and Ginny Miles, missing from the attack corps for the first four contests, Fischer was one of the players who stepped her game up, helping to lead the offense.

“She has really evolved and grown and improved,” said Graap, noting the importance of Fisher’s everyday intensity and work ethic in practice.

“She brings out the best out the best in her defenders and everyone around her,” Graap said.

In the end though, it all comes down to what Fischer can produce on the field, in games, and according to both Wohlschlegel and Graap, she performs with aplomb.

“We count on her for her stick skills,” said Wohlschlegel, “to put the ball in the net.”

“She’s a very explosive, very quick attacker,” summed up Graap.

And this year, her offense should be key for the Red in their quest for an Ivy lacrosse title. Not too bad for a defender from Ohio.

This week, the women’s lacrosse team made a bit of a jump.

It started on Saturday, when the Red defeated Ivy-rival Dartmouth. The victory ended the Green’s 10-year winning streak against Cornell and pulled the Red into a tie for second in the Ivy League, half a game behind Princeton.

It culminated Monday, when the women’s lacrosse Division I coaches’ poll rewarded the Red with a No. 5 ranking, the team’s highest, ever. The position represents a three position jump in the poll, from No. 8 last week. Cornell began the season at No. 12.

The ranking comes behind stellar defense and an offense buoyed by the recent return of senior captain Lori Wohlschlegel.

Archived article by Matt James