September 13, 2002

Red Faces Cardinal, Leopards

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While the weekend means a break for most at Cornell, those on the field hockey team keep working. Today at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m. the team will kick off its home season against Stanford and Lafayette, respectively.

The Stanford Cardinal, at 4-2 on the season, will prove to be a challenge for the Red. Six games deep, Stanford has already racked up 13 points this year. The Cardinal has also returned six seniors and 13 letter winners from its highly successful 2001-02 NorPac co-championship campaign. Stanford ended its previous season as the No. 2 defensive unit in the nation.

“We know a lot of their players individually, so we’re going to try to break them down one by one,” said Cornell head coach Michelle Tambroni. As for strategy, Tambroni added that the Red will need to “keep the ball out of their center.”

Cornell has illustrated solid skills over past few weeks of practice. A preseason match-up against the University of Toronto, also provided the team with an overtime opportunity where they scored four goals in seven minutes.

The team also finds itself returning nine starters, including goalkeeper Kaitlin Tierney and All-American Carissa Mirasol.

Sunday will provide a match-up with the Patriot League defending champion, Lafayette Leopards. Returning all but two starters, the Leopards line-up includes Patriot League player of the year Megan Monahan. A regional All-American, Monahan also ranked third in point production and fourth in scoring in the nation.

“We all need to be aware of her, but we need to concentrate on what we need to do to win,” said Tambroni regarding Monahan.

Noting that the Red’s midfield is exceptionally strong this year, the recent efforts of Stanford starters Noor Dawood and Amanda Billmyer also fail to bother Tambroni.

“Thankfully we have Stephanie Maher who will be looking to shut [Dawood] down,” said Tambroni. “She has enough speed.”

Sarah Rosenbaum will also be instrumental in Tambroni’s defensive scheme today. One of the fastest women on the team, Rosenabum’s job will be to contain the other half of Stanford’s offensive attack, Amanda Billmyer. Should Stanford or Lafayette find their way past Cornell’s defense, junior goalkeeper Kaitlin Tierney will be waiting for them.

Both games this weekend should feature strong attacks from Cornell aces Lindsay Grace and Carissa Mirasol. Fans should also look for a strong offensive presence from sophomores Danielle Dunn, Sara Weiner and numerous members from the class of 2006.

As for the fact that Stanford and Lafayette have routed their past two opponents, Tambroni added, “It doesn’t threaten me at all.”

Archived article by Matt Janiga