As the women’s lacrosse teams from Cornell and Syracuse lined up for the opening draw control this afternoon at Schoellkopf Field, a steady rain began to fall. Two minutes later, the Orangewomen’s Carrie Soults eluded Cornell goalie Carrie Giancola for the first score. Ten minutes after that, the Red found itself down 3-1.
That was when the rain stopped.
Senior midfielder Jamiee Reynolds scored two straight goals, then assisted on a Katie McCorry tally as the No. 4 Red (15-1, 6-1 Ivy) began a 8-0 run and never looked back en route to a 16-8 victory over No. 13 Syracuse (10-6, 3-3 Big East) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
“I was very impressed with Cornell,” said Syracuse head coach Lisa Miller. “They had a game plan, they stuck with it and played hard the whole game.”
With a 7-3 lead going into the break, the Red stormed out in the second half, as senior Beth Calder scored on a free position shot three minutes and 40 seconds into the half. Less than 90 seconds later, sophomore Jamie Quinn scored her second goal of the game off a pass for Reynolds to increase the lead to 9-8. It would turn out to be more than enough for Cornell, which went on another 4-0 run during the game’s last 12 minutes to seal the deal.
Reynolds scored four goals and in doing so set the Cornell single-season and career goals records with 48 and 135, respectively. She also added two assists for a total of six points on the game, a new school record for points in an NCAA tournament game.
“She’s been our stalwart this year,” lauded Red head coach Jenny Graap ’86. “She gets it done for us in the midfield and on the attack.”
Lori Wohlschlegel recorded a season high four assists and added a goal, while Quinn and junior Sarah Averson each recorded a hat trick.
On the defensive end, Giancola recorded nine saves and Averson, Calder, and Erica Holveck each scooped up four ground balls. Cornell caused 11 turnovers and recorded six stick checks.
“I was relaxed. I wasn’t taking Syracuse lightly, but I know I play better when I am relaxed,” said Giancola.
Despite the Orangewomen winning 16 draw controls to Cornell’s 10, the Red was able to control the pace of play throughout and keep the Syracuse defense guessing.
The win was Cornell’s first ever in the NCAA tournament, and the Red will attempt to build on that record on Sunday, when it hosts defending national champion Maryland in the quarterfinals.
“It’s exciting to have Cornell earn its first NCAA tournament victory here at home at Schoellkopf Field,” said Graap.
“Our NCAA experience wasn’t all that satisfying last year,” Wohlschlegel said. “Today’s game was satisfying, and it makes us hungry for more. We’re very excited for Sunday’s game.”
The No. 8 Terrapins (11-9, 1-4 ACC) pulled off the tournament’s first upset by upending No. 5 Loyola 13-8 this afternoon. Despite its record, Maryland is a tough team that should give Cornell a serious challenge Sunday afternoon.
“I think it will be a good game,” predicted Miller. “Cornell’s defense is good, and it will match up with [Maryland’s] attack well. Maryland is known for their attack, and Cornell’s defense is strong. I’m calling a one-goal game.”
Archived article by Owen Bochner