Freshman Phela Townsend scored the game winning second goal, converting on a pass from fellow classmate Kara Ishikawa in the 64th minute of play to give the women’s soccer team a 2-1 win over Columbia on Saturday. The victory was the Red’s (2-0, 1-0 Ivy) first conference win. The Lions who hosted now stand at 1-2 (0-1 Ivy).
“The freshmen did a great job,” said head coach Berhane Andeberhan. “Phela Townsend scored a great goal for us, but more importantly, we saw her play well defensively at the midfielder position.”
As if Townsend and Ishikawa were not proof enough of the Red’s entering class strength, freshman forward Shannon Fraser also played extremely well, producing many chances on offense. She played the entire game, and in addition to her strong offensive showing, proved to be a crucial defensive force in the intense last few minutes of the game.
“Shannon was tremendous on offense,” Andeberhan said. “And, her defense was incredible as well, [especially] in the last few minutes.”
The Red’s only problems against the Lions occurred at midfield, where Cornell often struggled to maintain ball control.
“Columbia used [its usual strategy] of bypassing the midfield,” commented Andeberhan. “For our midfielders, it was like watching a game of tennis, and when they actually got the ball, they did not seem comfortable.”
Despite being under heavy pressure throughout the game, sophomore goalkeeper Katie Thomas had another strong showing, allowing only 1 goal on 18 shots. Freshman Courtney Nasshorn scored the Lions’ lone goal from 10 yards out to tie the game at 1-1 in the 52nd minute.
“Our best performance was certainly from Katie” said Andeberhan.
The Red will play Colgate this Wednesday in Hamilton, N.Y. The Cornell ladies are off to their best start since 1992, when they went 5-0 to start the season.
When asked about how his team’s start has affected him, Andeberhan said, “We are a young team, and we need to work out a few things, but I’m very pleased with our play.”
“I’m certainly optimistic for Wednesday,” he finished.
Archived article by Michael Pandolfini