With most students lined up behind Bartels Hall this weekend, the field hockey team will be opening its Ivy League season. Cornell (1-2), will match up this Saturday against Penn (0-3) at 12 p.m. on Schoellkopf field.
The Quakers had high hopes entering the season but have yet to win a game since opening up against Drexel last weekend. The team’s latest loss was a weak, two-goal performance against Lafayette.
Penn has had a quiet season thus far, but Cornell will not be able to walk into the win. Penn returns 12 letter winners and seven starters to the field. Among them is the defensive trio of Brandi Alexander, Colleen Connors, and Nicole Eissler.
When on the field last season, Penn’s defensive unit was often able to hold opponents to one goal or less. This season, however, it has allowed an average of four goals per game. This change can most likely be attributed to the lack of experience from the Quakers’ starting goalkeeper, freshman Amanda Jones.
“We need to take advantage of that,” said head coach Michelle Tambroni. “We’re looking to get some good shots on net.”
The offensive effort from Cornell has been streaky at best, with a four goal season opener, and then three come from behind goals in the following game. Though it has been able to produce when necessary, it has not been able to put together the whole package. However, Tambroni feels that by combining the efforts from the past weekend the team should do fairly well.
The opening trial by fire weekend isn’t the only factor weighing in. Also on the mind of the team is last year’s overtime loss to Penn. The revenge factor has been a big motivation for the team to get to know its opponents and itself through videotapes of last year’s game.
“I would say that we’re pretty solid right now,” said senior captain Sarah Nordstrom.
Cornell certainly appears to have the edge defensively, as the Red has allowed an average of just two goals per game. Nordstrom noted that junior goalkeeper Kaitlin Tierney and senior attacker Sarah Rosenbaum have been a big part of this success. Tierney has made 33 stops in the last three games, and Rosenbaum has been able to clear the ball during crucial times.
Besides being “solid,” the team also appears ready. The Kent State game was a great confidence booster for the Red. Despite injuries to junior back Kimmy Gardner and junior midfielder Karleigh Burns, the depth of the Cornell bench should be able to step up.
“Penn just lost to Lafayette – we should dominate,” said Nordstrom.
Archived article by Matt Janiga