The field hockey team (5-2) will face a team reminiscent of its past this evening as it takes on a youthful Colgate squad (3-4) at Tyler Field in Hamilton, N.Y.
One thing that will feel familiar about Colgate is the number of underclass starters. The Raiders lost their lone offensive threat to graduation, and have since struggled to find a replacement. Lack of offense caused Colgate to open the season with three consecutive losses, including a 5-0 blowout to Stanford.
The Raiders have improved some since then. Several sophomores have stepped up and taken a more assertive role in the offense. Scoring and capitalizing on penalty strokes have helped Colgate earn three wins in the past four weeks.
Another important contribution has come from senior goalkeeper Sara Corcoran. Along with a shutout of Lehigh, Corcoran has 82 saves on the season. Cornell head coach Michelle Tambroni is not worried, however.
“She’s playing well, but we’ve been able to score lately. It’s a trend I hope we continue,” said Tambroni.
Continuing the scoring trend may be a problem for the Red, though. Colgate plays a quick and physical game. Defensively, they like to pack players into the shooting circles. Though not successful with Holy Cross, who notched three goals against the Raiders, Colgate will no doubt look to the same system tonight.
Colgate has also developed a fast right side attack this season. While this will not be anything new to the likes of junior and senior backs Kimmy Gardner and Sarah Nordstrom, respectively, Cornell will still be on guard.
“Right now the goal is to not take anything too lightly,” said Nordstrom. “We’re on a climb, but we haven’t been perfect – we’re not satisfied yet.”
Nordstrom, who is also the captain, mentioned what Cornell is doing to remove the kinks.
“We pinpoint exactly what we’re doing by watching film, so we realize our mistakes. It’s one of the key steps of fixing them,” she said.
Cornell is currently riding a four game win streak and has finally solidified its main points of play.
Tambroni can also take pride in the fact that both the starters and bench have contributed in scoring.
Colgate will not have the option of shutting down one specific player but instead needs to focus on the entire Red squad. Still, it seems as though Cornell has another weapon at its disposal — attitude.
“On the field we never let up, not even in the last minute of the game,” said Nordstrom.
Archived article by Matt Janiga