September 26, 2002

Scoring Sensation

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Nearly standing at 5-4 and wearing a genial smile, Carissa Mirasol wouldn’t seem to cause anyone’s nightmares. But make no mistake, she is arguably the scariest member of the 2002 field hockey team.

Although she is just entering her junior year, the attacker has already begun to imprint her name in the program’s history. Already a second-team NFHCA All-American and All-Ivy selection, Mirasol has been recognized as one of the country’s top offensive threats.

She made an immediate impact at Cornell, notching three goals and four assists as a freshman. Last year, she improved to lead the Red in scoring with 19 points — a number which put her among the top 10 scorers in the league. But even more impressive are her points per game stats, which placed her seventh in the league.

She already has seven points in the 2002 season in just five games and has guided the team to a 3-2 (1-0 Ivy) record. Those numbers put her on pace for 24 points, which would put her in the top-two in the league if history prevails.

Regardless of her penchant for scoring, Mirasol is a big-game player. Two of her assists came against Stanford in a 4-1 win. She also found the back of the net against nationally-ranked Michigan St. and Syracuse, not once but twice, a career best for someone with a relatively short career.

Speedy, confident, and having good vision on the field, Mirasol has accounted for over one-fifth of all of Cornell’s points last year. But she has increased her versatility coming into this season. Her good one-on-one skills have become more lethal for opposing defenses and goalies, and her passes are more accurate.

Using her new skills, Mirasol’s accomplishments in the offense have already paid dividends on the scoresheet. The former goal scorer’s seven points have come on four assists and one goal.

Coming to Cornell, Mirasol boasted a stellar high school career. She was a tri-varsity athlete, contributing to the lacrosse and indoor track teams as well as field hockey at Fairfax High School in Virginia. She graduated with her name on most honor rolls available: first-team all-state, second-team all-metropolitan, and first-team all-region and all-district twice. But that wasn’t all. The attacker also was honored as a lacrosse player and in the hurdles, in which she placed sixth at the Northern Region of Virginia indoor track championships.

Keeping her name among the league’s elite players has been something Mirasol has accomplished, but keeping her team competitive in the league has been another story. Cornell’s field hockey team has not been successful in the conference in recent history.

Schools with names like Princeton and Brown have dominated the top of the Ivy standings, while the Red has not finished above fourth since 1997, a trend Mirasol and this year’s team hope to end.

After losing seven of its 16 games by a single goal last year, the team feels that its increased experience will translate into wins in 2002. In order to fulfill that goal, Mirasol will be called on to contribute substantially.

So far this year, the field hockey team has beaten conference rival Penn, a team that beat the Red last season.

Some believe that Mirasol’s efforts will earn her first-team All-American status, but individual goals are always secondary to the ultimate prize — an Ivy title.

Archived article by Sun Staff